Road Pricing to Add Value not (just) Revenue

European vs American Road Pricing view (Grush Hour, Feb. 11, 2011)

Also discussed here: New technologies enable innovative tolling (5 page pdf, Toll Collect ASECAP Days Oslo 2010)

And here: Stockholm’s Congestion Pricing Trial (Pollution Free Cities, May 6, 2010)

In today’s review,  Bern Grush (founder of Skymeter, Canada’s leading GPS road pricing company),  takes a look at the differences between the tax and revenue oriented approaches (largely unsuccessfully in terms of driver acceptance/enthusiasm)  with the approach his company advocates- adding value for drivers. Instead of begrudgingly paying an extra cost to commute, drivers are offered a guaranteed maximum commute time and ease of access. Such an approach is a necessity in our tax sensitive society in order to bring improvements not only to traffic flow but to pay for maintaining the roads we drive on- which more and more is becoming unsustainable in city budgets, but also to improve the quality of air in downtowns – which cities such as Stockholm or Singapore that employ modern tolling systems have realized. In short, a convenience fee not a road toll.

Key Quotes:

“Who wants the maraschino cherry, if someone else gets the cake?”

“a new approach, in which the paradigm of tax-centricity is replaced by one of service centricity.”

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