New York City is set to become the first in the United States to charge drivers entering the busiest areas of the city. Congestion pricing would put new electronic tolls in place, enabling the Metropolitan Transit Authority to raise money to modernize the city’s aging subway system.
Rick Geddes, founding director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy and expert on infrastructure, says congestion pricing has proven successful in other cities around the world and could be beneficial to New York City on many levels.
“The move to this form of congestion pricing is a very good move for New York City. In the long run it will improve air quality, make pedestrians safer, and make the city much more livable.
“What New York City is proposing is a version of congestion pricing known as ‘cordon pricing,’ since a charge would be paid for entering the cordon at peak times. Congestion pricing is gaining traction around the world as traffic congestion skyrockets. Major cities such as Stockholm, London and Singapore have successfully adopted similar pricing schemes.
“The adoption of such a plan will create a variety of social benefits, including reduced congestion, health, environmental, and fuel savings. The plan would likely generate substantial revenue that can be used to improve the city’s aging transportation infrastructure.”