CHRISTIAN: Don’t like congestion? Then pay for it

Cornelius Christian, Assistant Professor in Brock’s Department of Economics, wrote a piece recently published in The Niagara Independent about the need to implement a congestion charge to help alleviate Toronto traffic.

Christian writes:

Toronto was recently ranked the sixth worst city for commuting in the world. A typical GTA resident spends 1.5 hours travelling to and from work. When politicians are asked about this sorry state of affairs, responses range from Doug Ford’s call for more subway lines, to Jagmeet Singh’s appeal to encourage bicycling.

While these suggestions are good, a better one exists: make people pay for congestion.

What this means, in practice, is that those who drive in central Toronto would pay a flat fee, per day, of $10. The money collected from the fee can then be used to subsidize public transit. This simple policy would greatly reduce road traffic, since many would just opt out of driving.

London, England already established such a scheme. In 2003, London mayor Ken Livingstone implemented a congestion charge of £5 per day. Four years later, the number of cars on the road dropped by 30 percent. Congestion vanished, and air quality improved. The policy worked.

Continue reading the full story here.

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