Congestion Pricing to Balance Out Mobility Systems

The goal of transportation networks should be to provide integrated and efficient services, which requires looking beyond particular modes.

1 minute read

April 29, 2019, 6:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

New York City

Tupungato / Shutterstock

Stephen Goldsmith makes the case that cities need to understand transportation as an integrated mobility market rather than manage each individual mode. "For decades, unfortunately, cities also have embraced another goal: to protect incumbent transit providers even at the expense of underserved communities."

New York City’s recent decision to become the first American city to implement congestion pricing is an opportunity to buck the trend, says Goldsmith. "Unlike the caps and other restrictions that that have limited mobility solutions in the past (and, unfortunately, continue to evolve), Manhattan's congestion pricing would likely be enacted across all forms of private vehicles, nudging the market instead of protecting competitors, while devoting the new revenues to subways and other public transit needs." He also advocates for dynamic pricing and distance-based fees to maximize the benefits of the congestion pricing system.

Goldsmith adds he would also like to see less regulation of private bus companies because they help fill in the gaps where public transit services fall short. "The solution to congestion is more than just getting cars off the road; it is also about improving the performance of more efficient means of transportation," he notes.

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