Urban Fold

Chinese Cities Consider Congestion Pricing

Air pollution and traffic are choking China's largest cities: a recent conference reveals that officials are looking to solve these twin transportation problems with economics.

Drawing on the experiences of Singapore and European cities, Chinese officials are considering ways to implement congestion pricing to reduce air pollution and traffic jams. As an attendee of a conference called "International Forum on Economic Policies for Traffic Congestion and Tailpipe Emissions," Charles Komanoff of Streetsblog explains that officials were eager to learn about the range of congestion pricing systems that exist, along with their technical and political requirements. 

"The discussion was grounded in the experiences of Europe and Singapore. What especially resonated with the Chinese delegates was London’s provision of many new bus lines before the toll scheme was rolled out; Stockholm’s referendum win after congestion pricing had been proven on a trial basis; Milan’s transition from a pollution-based to a congestion-based charge, as vehicle turnover moved the mix from old, polluting tailpipes to cleaner ones, and traffic efficiency began to have equal priority with air quality; and Singapore’s “dynamic” pricing adjusting the toll level to the gridlock level. If there was one strong single lesson, it was that both the political sell and the toll design must be geared to each city’s circumstances," writes Komanoff. 

  

Full Story: Congestion Charging on the Horizon for China’s Cities

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