Urban road transportation creates several externalities, the most important of which are congestion (time delay and extra fuel consumption), accidents, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Road pricing is widely promoted as a tool to reduce these externalities.
Read the article In London, a charge to drive eases up the roads and then answer the questions below. You can either read the article in the window below or you can follow the previous link to read the article in a separate window.
You may also like to read the following articles and watch the embedded video relating to congestion pricing:
Define the terms:
- External costs
Explain the reasons for charging drivers for the use of roads.
In the light of the report quoted in the article, discuss the likely success of road charging as a policy to reduce congestion on the roads.
Evaluate two further policies that a government could use to reduce the level of traffic congestion.
Extension activity: New York Congestion Pricing
New York congestion pricing was proposed in 2006 by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's for vehicles travelling into, or within, the Manhattan central business district. The congestion pricing charge was one component of PlaNYC 2030; a policy to improve the city's future environmental sustainability, while planning for population growth.
However, the opposition to the scheme was so overwhelming, that the proposal was never put to a vote.
Using the web links and video below, write a 500 - 1000 word report:
- explaining the nature and operations of a congestion charge
- outlining the cases for and against congestion pricing in Manhattan
- identifying the stakeholders involved in New York City, explaining why they support or oppose congestion charging
- identifying and evaluating alternatives to congestion pricing as a way of reducing traffic problems in New York city
You may also like to read the following articles relating to New York's proposed congestion charge: