Fair tolling is the most powerful policy tool at the hands of City officials to reduce unnecessary driving, promote environmentally sound transportation, and finance 21st Century improvements to our aging transportation infrastructure. Fair tolling has proven effective (and popular) in cities around the world.
Fair tolling is the practice of charging motorists more to use a roadway, bridge or tunnel during periods of the heaviest use. Its purpose is to reduce automobile use during periods of peak congestion, thereby easing traffic and encouraging commuters to walk, bike or take mass transit as an alternative.
The fair tolling program debated most recently in New York City is modeled on the one instituted in London in 2003. Cars that enter Manhattan Central Business District (CBD) would be charged $8 between 6 am and 6 pm. The revenues collected through the charge would be used solely to fund expansions and improvements to our regional transit system. The benefits of this plan across all five boroughs are significant. Despite passage in City Council and an unprecedented coalition of supporters, fair tolling was not executed upon by the New York State Legislature in 2008. However, it remains one of the only options on the table to ease New York City’s twin ills of traffic congestion and under-funded public transit.
Transportation Alternatives works with the Campaign for New York’s Future to push fair tolling, as show in this film: