Congestion Pricing’s Future Effect on Infrastructure

Posted on September 11, 2019

As most in logistics and transportation already know, the nation’s infrastructure is a constant topic of worry for everyone between ground level operations to politicians.  Cities are strapped for cash because the funding for upkeep and upgrades simply hasn’t been allocated or isn’t available.  The federal government drags its feet in favor of designer grievances spurred by populism and what sells in the media. The state and local governments are already overwhelmed and underfunded just to keep the crumbling roads, bridges, tunnels, and decaying of older mass transit systems from reaching critical mass. Thus enters the concept of Congestion Pricing.

Many major metro areas are now considering congestion pricing in the form of more tolls and even restrictions on non-commercial traffic to help ease the burden on America’s clogged roadways and to assist in funding for upkeep of existing infrastructure. 

“NYC's proposed congestion pricing zone would cover Manhattan south of 60th Street, not including the FDR Drive north of the Brooklyn Bridge. Taxis and app-based for-hire vehicles (FHVs) could be charged as far north as 96th Street.”

Congestion pricing is a type of road user charge system in which a flat or variable rate fee is charged to vehicles that drive in a specified area or zone within a city. Congestion pricing models can help communities properly price the use of our roadways, which are a finite, in-demand good. These models are built on a basic economic concept: when a public good is in high demand, the price charged to use that good increases to reflect its value and thus, what users are willing to pay for it. Most of these systems will be used to fund transit and infrastructure.

This is also being considered for varying environmental factors as well.  It would serve big cities well if they could drive even more denizens to public transportation to consolidate usage and travel in large urban areas. This would also benefit smaller metropolitan areas working to reduce their carbon footprint and afford to offer their communities larger scale public transportation.

As we move to the future, changes like this will occur in an effort to generate the needed revenue to rebuild existing infrastructure and modernize transportation of people as well as goods and services.  For those of us in the transportation industries, we can expect rates to rise alongside these additional fees.

Contributor: Reed Stuxness 


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