Have you ever been stuck in traffic, wishing that you could get someplace quicker? I’m sure at some point, each of us has been in that situation. For those living in major metropolitan areas, it’s probably a thought that occurs a bit more frequently, especially if you have a fairly long commute.
As an option to help solve this driving time problem, what do you think about the idea of congestion pricing?
I’m not talking about the cost of relieving nasal congestion here:) Rather, it’s the notion of paying more in order to shorten your driving time. This won’t reduce your commuting costs, which may already be high. However, as we know, time is money. If you can save time for a little extra expense, it just might be very well worth it.
I’ve heard some conversation lately about this topic, and thought it would be a concept that some people would consider buying into. In practice, I suppose this could work any number of ways. However, the way I would envision it is a special lane designated as a premium express lane, only for people willing to pay to drive.
For example, this special restricted lane might have a toll that would need to be paid, say $2. During rush hour, perhaps the price would go up, say to $4. The idea is that by setting this variable pricing, people had the option of getting to work or an appointment quicker if they really needed to. There are times when we just can’t be late to due surprising traffic problems, and it could be worth it to pay up for more.
Of course, I do see some downsides to this as well. One would be the idea that variable pricing could result in some really high prices at certain times. Another is that utilizing an existing lane for this premium express lane might hurt existing traffic more, and increase travel times. Those who don’t have high enough income may get even more inconvenienced at the expense of those who could pay up.
In the end, many things have a price, for better or worse. If there’s an opportunity for making money, it will be found and taken advantage of. Frankly, I can see how this idea of congestion pricing via a premium toll could work in many areas. It just might be in place in some areas already for all I know, aside from general tolls that some highways have.
My Questions for You:
What do you think of this idea of congestion pricing, and premium prices for driving the fast lane?
Have you seen this in practice anywhere (aside from regular tollways).
How much extra, if any, would you pay to drive in a fast lane that could cut your drive from 50 minutes to 30 minutes?