Ambitious Transportation Pricing Scheme Proposed For Bay Area

At a unique, combined meeting of two regional agencies, planners in the San Francisco Bay Area proposed several transportation pricing strategies to reduce global warming.

"The plan was presented as a jumping-off point for a lengthy process, ending in February 2009, of creating the (Metropolitan Transportation Commission's) federally-mandated regional transportation plan through 2035. It was presented to several hundred Bay Area leaders at the "Bay Area on the Move" MTC transportation summit and Association of Bay Area Governments fall general assembly."

"Probably the most controversial component will come from making motorists pay for their contributions to rush-hour congestion. That five-fold increase would come from peak-hour surcharges on parking, congestion fees to enter urban areas and a 23-cents-a-mile carbon tax would provide an incentive to carpool, take transit or work from home.

It's designed to scare the dickens out of every elected official in the room," Heminger quipped to the gathering of leaders from all over the 9-county Bay Area.

"Another key component to reaching emissions targets will be coming up with a unified plan to channel development toward job centers, toward public transportation hubs and away from the tradition of sprawling suburbs ever farther from those key locations."

"FOCUS, short for Focusing Our Vision, is a regional incentive-based development and conservation strategy for the Bay Area. Regional agencies address climate change, transportation, housing, the economy, and other issues that transcend city boundaries but impact all members of the Bay Area" [from FOCUS handout].

Full Story: Plan: Make Bay Area drivers pay for warming

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