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The bottleneck model: An assessment and interpretation


The bottleneck model of congestion with endogenous scheduling has become a standard tool of transportation economics. It provides surprising insights about the time pattern of congestion, optimal pricing, and many distinct inefficiencies of unpriced equilibria including wrong departure order with heterogeneous preferences, wrong allocation of users across links of a network, and wrong order in which parking spaces are occupied. It illuminates the roles of travel-time reliability, traffic information, and extreme congestion ("hypercongestion"). It has been developed for use in practical network planning. Future use will probably emphasize greater realism, leading to more practical applications.

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