Alpine crossing exchange
Recognizing transport opportunities as a limited good especially in areas with geographical constraints like the Alps, the trading of transit rights could bring a solution: "The Alpine Crossing Exchange"
The Alpine Crossing Exchange aims to limit the runs of freight vehicles passes crossing the Alps by issuing transit rights. These rights should be distributed equitably to all alpine passages and to the days of the week according to the principle of the short ways. The trading system should be internet based and the price of the rights should be determined by demand. This could contribute to avoiding congestion and would help to reduce the environmental impact of road transport on people and climate in the sensitive Alpine region. The idea was initiated by the Alpine Initiative with the following concrete aims:
- Limitation: A certain amount of transits for freight vehicles crossing the Alps will be fixed by the authorities. This limit can be reduced to a level which provides for compliance with environmental standards and a real modal shift.
- Distribution: In order to balance the number of runs within the different alpine passages as well as within the days of a week, the amount of available runs will be distributed equally in order not to privilege one passage. Basis for this distribution would be safety and health factors affecting people along the route.
- Auction: The transit rights are periodically sold by auction on the Alpine Crossing Exchange.
- Trade: The transit rights can be used or be resold via the Internet on the Alpine Crossing Exchange. The web page parallel gives information on prices for rail transport.
- This instrument would be market orientated and would not discriminate certain member states or stakeholders. The limits are sector established by political decisions and the rest is regulated by free market.
Transport companies can plan on a long-term basis. Due to the regulation of the absolute number of runs this measure would help to prevent congestion and save on costs for this. Goods can be delivered in time and investments into huge congestion prevention measures - like the construction of parking areas for trucks - can be ceased.
Due to increasing efficiency, decreasing congestion and the avoidance of dispensable traffic, transportation costs will remain at the same level. For local people it will bring an enormous gain in the quality of live and the distortion of competition between road and rail will be almost equated.
The system can be combined with all systems of tolls and taxes and is even applicable at the European level. The choice of the mode of transport, the ban on contingents and the ban on discrimination are the backbones of European transport policy. The Alpine Crossing Exchange is conceived to comply with these principles. The factual already existing limitation of runs is managed without discrimination by an intelligent system of transit rights rather than by uncontrolled congestion. Furthermore the ecological objectives are met with the minimum of economic efforts.