CBD congestion pricing

If there ever was close to a no-brainer in environmental policy, it is the idea that we should charge cars and trucks that enter the city during peak time. The New Yorker contains a nice account of a proposal to do just that in Manhattan. My guess is that, before the decade is out, we will see this seriously proposed and perhaps implemented in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. As Bloomberg says on congestion, it is “not whether we want to pay but how do we want to pay?” And, for society, money is not a payment.

2 thoughts on “CBD congestion pricing”

  1. The politics of this are just horrendous. It wont happen because too many voters are culturally attached to their cars and it would be too easy for an opposition to misrepresent this.

    Look at tolls on new roads – a much less contentious idea, but still very hard to get any support for. lets face it, rationality is not very important when it comes to motor vehicles.


  2. It happened in London: the Congestion Charge has been a reality for several years. Numberplates of citybound vehicles are scanned on crossing the inner city ring, and if you don’t pay up, you get fined (reliably fined, too, unless using a stolen plate of course). Bike sales are up: people seem moderately happy with what would at first sight appear a regressive tax on individual liberties. This is because us Londoners had long ago pegged inner city congestion has having got beyond a joke.
    Truck deliveries and so-on have been shifted to the small hours, when no tax applies, or $costs passed on to businesses and consumers I suppose.
    When I commuted to the LSE by train and bike, the roads of Holborn and surrounds were considerably clearer in the the mornings once the tax was introduced. see http://www.cclondon.com/
    PS although uneccessary luxury cars emanating from the MBS car park continue to exit onto Bouverie Street at some speed, nice to see not all the occupants of that building are petrolheads! Join the UniMelb initiative http://www.caspi.unimelb.edu.au/


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