In Congestion Fight, Market Trumps Policy

<p>Despite efforts by politicians to enact policies that reduce congestion, the biggest improvements in traffic reduction appear to be tied to rising gas prices and tolls, according to data from New York.</p>
July 6, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Soaring gas prices and higher tolls seem to be doing for traffic in New York what Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's ambitious congestion pricing was supposed to do: reducing the number of cars clogging the city's streets and pushing more people to use mass transit."

"In May, with gasoline at more than $4 a gallon, traffic at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's bridges and tunnels dropped 4.7 percent compared with the same month the previous year."

"Preliminary data for June shows a similar decrease in traffic, and officials say the change is largely because of higher prices at the pump."

"At the same time, subway, bus and commuter rail ridership has increased."

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Published on Thursday, July 3, 2008 in The New York Times
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