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May 23rd, 2019

The fairness of congestion pricing

https://transfersmagazine.org/longer-view-the-fairness-of-congestion-pricing/

Summary:

Some people object to road pricing on the grounds of it being regressive. But free roads help the rich more: the rich drive more, and the pollution from congestion hurts the poor (living more near freeways and boulevards) more.

In top congested cities, poor households are 14% of the population but only 4% of peak commute traffic.

You have to spend a fair bit of money to get on road in the first place; free roads are more like matching grants than progressive transfers.

Money circulates: what's paid by drivers can be used to help the poor. Time lost in congestion is just lost, no one benefits.

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Damien Sullivan
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