Driving charges

In the Sydney Morning Herald today, a call for charges in driving.

In a paper released this morning which the Treasury stresses does not represent its official view, economist Paul Hubbard commends Sydney’s experiment with time-of-day pricing levels for the Harbour Bridge and Tunnel and says it could go further.

Noting that Sydney’s E-Toll system is only one of a number of possible methods of charing for road use it points to an automatic number plate recognition system used in London in which a network of 340 high definition cameras read number plates and generate bills for weekday travel within the city between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm.

This is a very welcome move. I think that the external costs of congestion possibly outweigh driving’s climate change costs.

Now, if you want to make it politically saleable, why not do as Stephen King and I suggested when we discussed this idea in Finishing the Job and allow people to use their eTags on public transport for driving credits?

2 thoughts on “Driving charges”

  1. It’s a great thought and if only the NSW state government actually wanted more people to use public transport, it might even catch on – but the trains are already past breaking point during peak hours.
    Still, congestion charging could pay for lots of public transport good ideas – Parramatta Rd and Anzac Pd light rail, cycle lanes.


  2. Also, sorry to double post, but there is an interesting article by Felix Salmon looking at an attempt to quantify the externalities of driving in Manhattan:
    …the average vehicle has 1.97 people in it, and that the average value of an hour of saved vehicle time south of 60th Street in Manhattan on a weekday is $48.89. Which means, basically, that driving a car into Manhattan on a weekday causes about $160 of negative externalities to everybody else.
    via Yglesias.


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