Planned congestion

[Link from Greeneconomics] Ed Glaeser advocates a form of congestion pricing for New York City traffic. This is similar to plans advocated by Stephen King and myself except that we don’t see any reason why it can’t be on all roads. (See my earlier post here and my Age op ed). Glaeser’s piece makes a nice point about how the London system was actually progressive (favouring lower income commuters). He writes:

Some critics of congestion charges argue that they are unfair to low income people, but in London, lower-income bus travelers were the charge’s biggest beneficiaries. Bus riders didn’t have to pay the charge and their travel times plummeted. As the time cost of bus travel fell, the number of bus passengers during morning hours increased by 38% (some of this is due to improved bus service provision). Like London, New York has many more people who commute by public transportation than by car, and New York’s many bus travelers would particularly benefit from a congestion charge reducing their commute times.

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