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How road pricing impacts income groups

The Pembina Institute has just published this report looking at the impact that road pricing could have on the various income groups across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. One of the common arguments against road pricing is that it disproportionately impacts lower income folks.

The study specifically looks at the proposal that Toronto put forward in 2016 to apply a flat congestion charge of $2 on the two highways leading into downtown. The proposal was ultimately rejected by the province, but I thought it was a step in the right direction. In my opinion, a dynamic road pricing model, similar to what is used in Singapore, would be preferable.

The report concludes by arguing that road/mobility pricing is destined to become a tool in this region if we are serious about managing congestion. However, they also note that it must coincide with a strong and sustained investment in transit. And I would agree with that. That’s one of the reasons why you do this – to fund transit.

To download a PDF of the report, click here.

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