The rich can avoid traffic, but what about the rest of us?
Congestion pricing charges motorists an additional toll to use a stretch of highway, a bridge or to enter a particular area during peak travel time. Also known as “Lexus lanes”, these cater to the rich and hurt average working people who can not afford them. Many auto commuters lack access to convenient mass transit, so you can not penalize them without first investing in improved rail and bus service.
In the Summer of 2007, New York City Mayor proposed a plan to introduce congestion pricing in Manhattan. The plan proposed charging passenger cars $8 a day and commercial vehicles $21 a day for the right to drive below 86th street. The plan stalled in Albany, but it is sure to come back in the future.
While researching this topic, I found an interesting short 4 minute film that makes a string case for congestion pricing. Although when I watch this, I think it makes an even better argument for Pay4Rides.
In the film, there is a good quote from Bob Kiley, the Former Commissioner: Transport for London.:
“Under the skin, most of us don’t like change. We’ll put up with bad circumstances because we fear the consequences of change. Maybe it could be worse than it already is.”
I agree that many of us feel this way, but fear should not stop us from doing the right thing.