Feds To LA: Try Congestion Pricing On Freeways

In a clear message to L.A.’s transportation leaders, a U.S. Department of Transportation representative told the city's transit agency to consider congestion pricing as a method to both reduce congestion and show ‘the true costs’ of freeway driving.

Tyler Duvall, assistant secretary for transportation policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, told LA's Metropolitan Transportation Authority board on Oct. 26 that they "need to experiment with charging motorists to drive in special freeway lanes during peak periods".

"The Bush administration strongly encourages ‘experimentation and exploration' of ways to reduce congestion through peak pricing, Duvall said."

"The 13-member MTA board, which includes Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, three of his appointees and the five county supervisors, has been wary of congestion pricing because of fears that it would prove unpopular with voters in a region so dependent on the automobile.

In August, the Bush administration chose New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami to receive shares of $850 million in federal grants to institute various congestion pricing programs. Los Angeles lost out in the competition because the MTA failed to include a congestion pricing plan in its application to Washington. "It just fell a bit short," Duvall said."

"Anticipating the concern of some elected officials that congestion pricing is unfair to the poor, Duvall suggested that drivers of all income levels can benefit. He used the example of a low-income mother who pays to use a toll lane because she needs to pick up her son or daughter from day care by a certain time or face a late charge.

County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke expressed the hope that the federal agency would weigh regions differently when deciding where to award grant money. She urged the Bush administration to factor into its decisions the driving patterns of the area's low-income residents.

Duvall said he recognizes that solutions to the congestion problem have to be "flexible and tailored" to the needs of each urban area. But he added that it's important that the federal government "send a signal to people about the true costs of moving on an urban highway."

Thanks to ABAG-MTC Libary

Full Story: Official pushes for L.A. toll lanes, Federal transit aide urges the MTA to consider congestion pricing to ease traffic.

Comments

Comments

U.S. Dept of Transit

U.S. Department of Transportation representative told the city's transit agency to consider...

U.S. Department of Transportation representative told the Metro Region's transportation agency to consider...

The mistake illustrates exactly why there is a problem.

US DOT and fed funds.

Freeways (I-x) are federally funded. MPOs exist in large part to distribute Fed funds (interstate commerce). What's the problem?

Best,

D

User Funded

More money is collected in direct user fees than are expended on roads. There is no "federal funding." There is user funding that is overtaxed and government administered. "Dano" is absolutely and demonstrably wrong. There is a trust fund and it is called a trust fund and if anything that trust has been violated in the other direction.

Funding for users.

More money is collected in direct user fees than are expended on roads. There is no "federal funding."

The topic is, of course, that the Feds are seeking to facilitate surface transportation by testing a certain strategy in targeted markets.

So by your italicized statement above Robert, are you asserting that no Federal funds are collected and distributed for roadways? What evidence do you have for this assertion?

That is counter to what I stated when I wrote MPOs exist in large part to distribute Fed funds ([to facilitate] interstate commerce). Thus, I ask for evidence for your assertion.

Of course, the statements More money is collected in direct user fees than are expended on roads. and There is user funding that is overtaxed and government administered. have nothing to do with the argument of whether or not the Feds should give money to MPOs to facilitate surface transportation, and I do not ask for evidence for them at this time.

Best,

D

lawn mowing

I recently purchased gasoline for my lawnmower. Since the tax on gasoline is put into the transportation trust fund, which has absolutely nothing to do with lawn care, I am wondering if I can get a rebate of the tax I paid? Or can the feds send over one of the illegal immigrants they have rounded up to cut my lawn?

This is the kind of absurdity we are headed for if the neocons keep driving us to nowhere.

Support transit! The gas tax should be raised immediately (for basic infrastructure investment) and all the urban highways should have variable tolls (for congestion mitigation). A higher proportion should be dedicated to efficient modes. That's the only way to ensure mobility and accessibility for our economy in this century.

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