Lessons From NYC: Congestion Pricing

In April 2008, the NYS Assembly rejected NYC Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing proposal for Manhattan. A subsequent attempt to toll the free East & Harlem River bridges also failed. Bruce Schaller (NYC-DOT), involved in both efforts explains why

Schaller stipulates that the key to political acceptance is motorist acceptance - and that means the pricing scheme must be perceived to benefit them, as a user group, rather than society at large.

"Road pricing proposals have to be designed to benefit motorists if they're going to be implemented according to Bruce Schaller, deputy commissioner in the New York City department of transportation. As a senior official in the City's Bloomberg administration Schaller was heavily involved in the 2007 plans to do congestion pricing in Manhattan and - after that failed - proposals in 2008/2009 to toll the East River and Harlem River bridges."

"Given the power of even small groups of auto users to block pricing through the political process, pricing proposals need to be perceived as benefiting drivers individually and not simply society at large," is Schaller's major conclusion from the experience. "

Note: Schaller's article will appear in the August issue of Transport Policy. An advanced copy (pdf) is provided by TOLLROADSnews.

Thanks to Ed Braddy

Full Story: Road pricing must benefit motorists for acceptance

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