Hypercongestion—the phenomenon that higher traffic densities can reduce throughput—is well understood at the link level, but has also been observed in a macroscopic form at the level of traffic networks; for instance, in morning rush-hour traffic into a downtown core. In this paper, we show that macroscopic hypercongestion can occur as a purely emergent effect of dynamic equilibrium behavior on a network, even if the underlying link dynamics (we consider Vickrey bottlenecks with spaceless vertical queues) do not exhibit hypercongestion.

Arbitrary networks, Homogeneous users, Hypercongestion, Optimal (first-best) pricing, Spaceless vertical queues, Vickrey bottlenecks
Transportation Research Part B: Methodological
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Frascaria, D, Olver, N.K, & Verhoef, E. (2020). Emergent hypercongestion in Vickrey bottleneck networks. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 139, 523–538. doi:10.1016/j.trb.2020.07.010