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Congestion Pricing as the Missing Piece of Urban Mobility

A new report argues for congestion pricing projects to be implemented in major Canadian cities.
November 10, 2015, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Ann Baldwin

Canada's Ecofiscal Commission has released a report titled We Can’t Get There from Here: Why Pricing Congestion is Critical to Beating It. Calling pricing congestion the "missing piece" of urban mobility, the report broadly recommends creating more transportation choices and shifting transportation incentives. The gap in incentives is where congestion pricing comes in, according to the website promoting the new report.

More directly, the report recommends the following:

"Attaching a fee to driving, for example in traffic hot spots at peak times, increases urban mobility by encouraging more informed transportation choices, while making all other transportation investments work better. Canada should begin exploring congestion pricing policies now with temporary and transparent urban pilot projects supported by all levels of government."

The report's recommendations can actually be specified in four ways:

  1. Major Canadian cities should implement congestion pricing pilot projects, customized to their local context.
  2. Provincial governments should initiate, enable, or facilitate congestion pricing pilot projects.
  3. The federal government should help fund pilot projects.
  4. Governments should carefully evaluate the performance of pilot projects, communicate their results broadly, and incorporate lessons into future mobility policies.

The website also breaks down ideas into infographics for the cities of Metro Vancouver, Calgary, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, and Greater Montreal.

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Published on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 in Canada's Ecofiscal Commission
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