Saxe on congestion pricing considerations for Toronto

UTTRI associated faculty Professor Shoshanna Saxe was quoted in “Should Canada charge drivers to use roads during rush hour?” posted March 30, 2019 by Global News.

Congestion pricing has been in the news recently because according to the article:

“… a New York plan to fight congestion by putting a price on driving into central Manhattan came one step closer to fruition. If it becomes law, drivers will pay an automatic toll starting in 2021 whenever they drive into that specific area. The exact price will depend on the day and time.”

Professor Saxe had this to say about congestion pricing and the considerations that need to be taken into account in the case of Toronto:

head shot of Shoshanna Saxe

Prof. Shoshanna Saxe

You can make it more expensive for someone to drive downtown during rush hour, but “if those other choices don’t materialize, then you have revenue” and the roads will still be clogged.

Still, [Saxe] cautions, it isn’t a quick fix, especially in cities like Toronto that have historically made transportation network decisions around the use of cars.

“There’s already a lot of people on the system,” Saxe says. “If we’re changing the system, it makes lives hard on the people who are dependent on it and there are real equity considerations there.”

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