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.

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  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.
    http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/07/03/how-driving-a-car-into-manhattan-costs-160/
    via Yglesias.

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