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Revisiting electronic road pricing as a way to fight traffic congestion

As disappointing as this week’s vote on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway East was, there is one good thing that has come to the forefront and that is the will to explore road pricing. At this point, I have almost no confidence that this City Council would ever vote it in, but at least we’re talking about it. That’s better than not talking about it.

If you’ve been reading Architect This City since the beginning, you might know that I’ve been a vocal supporter of road pricing. I wrote two posts on the topic: The case for electronic road pricing (which was based on an HBS case I did as part of my MBA) and More on electronic road pricing (which was a Lunch & Learn I did while I was at TAS).

I continue to believe that road pricing is a highly sensible solution to big city traffic congestion. But I do think that an electronic/variable pricing model is preferable to and more equitable than a flat toll model. A variable model means that the price of using the road adjusts based on congestion levels and/or the time of day. I also think that we should use as much of the revenues as possible to fund continuous transit improvements.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out the two posts mentioned above. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on road pricing in the comment section below. Would you welcome it in your city?

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