Expertise for Communities

The Promise of Congestion Pricing

Friday, November 24, 2023 2:23 PM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

New York's long-awaited congestion pricing program could break open the controversial practice in the United States.

New York City’s congestion pricing program, set to launch next year, could pave the way for similar programs in other U.S. cities, which have been reluctant to implement cordon pricing despite its popularity in other parts of the world, writes Adie Tomer in Bloomberg CityLab.

“Congestion pricing isn’t just a new fee on driving; it’s the single most powerful transportation experiment America has not yet tried,” Tomer claims. This demand-driven approach to traffic management can reduce congestion, boost public transit use, and raise revenue. In New York, “the state plans to reinvest nearly 100% of the congestion revenues back into the MTA system, shoring up annual budgets today and unlocking expansion plans in the future.”

Tomer believes that once the benefits of the program become evident, more cities will quickly follow suit. “Once congestion pricing gets off the ground, it can unlock the Holy Grail of transportation pricing: vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees, which would charge for every mile driven, not just those in specific zones.”

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