Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Congestion Pricing

with 8 comments

From Streetfilms


Written by Stephen Rees

March 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I am all for it but notice that cities that have it ALSO have RAPID transit systems–including many lines of commuter trains–across their whole metropolitan area.
    If I had to go from Coquitlam to Richmond (to be at work everyday at 6 am) I would have to have a car. (living near work is a great idea…until you get laid off and can only get a job across town…or have 2 part-time jobs in different areas)

    Red frog

    March 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

  2. Redfrog, Do you have an example of congestion pricing scheme charging people before 6am?

    It is certainly a progress to see people “agree with it but not here” ..but that remind me too much the bike lane debate…Usually such reasoning is based on a misunderstanding of the “congestion pricing” scheme assimilating it to a “toll for usage of facility”…

    it is not! “congestion pricing” is to control “congestion” … no congestion risk=no charge.

    If you refer to

    You will see that congestion pricing on Vancouver Bridge, could be in effect only an average of 4hr per weekday to regulate it…

    Whether the government had chosen a “congestion pricing” for Port Mann bridge, one crossing it at 6am could do it for free…the government has chosen the “toll anytime” way…so before 6am, you will pay $4 and basically not travel any faster than now. From the graph I have given in my post, you will see that Congestion pricing could have been financially much more interesting in the example you give than the route currently chosen by the Province (“toll anytime”) for the Port Mann bridge… and that could be obviously true for any other bridge poised to be tolled, namely Pattulo bridge…


    March 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

  3. Good Lord! I ran head first in a hornets nest! I was ONLY replying to the suggestion that a congestion fare be used to reduce the use of cars in the downtown area….as it does in other towns that are using this scheme.
    As far as I know, all the towns that are using a congestion pricing system do have a rapid transit system, including commuter trains, that service their whole metropolitan area, thus giving people a CHOICE between taking a car and paying a congestion fare, or using transit.

    As it stands now, many people in Metro Vancouver don’t have that choice, as it takes far too long by transit to go from one suburb to another.

    I don’t have a car by choice and wouldn’t even have one if I won 50 millions at the lottery (I had rather have a cook, a cleaner and a gardener), so congestion pricing wouldn’t bother me anyway.
    What bothers me is having to spend so much time going by transit from Coquitlam to Richmond just to go buy a magazine at the Yahoan Mall.

    Red frog

    March 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

  4. “As far as I know, all the towns that are using a congestion pricing system do have a rapid transit system”. that is possibly the today snapshot, but when Singapore introduced its congestion charge, I believe it was no subway, no LRT, no rapid transit system…they came later, and eventually was permitted by the congestion charge…

    regarding commuting from Coquitlam to Richmond: it is not that bad: it is 30mn WCE + 20mn canada line, car could take 40mn according to google map…(and anyway according the map I have posted the car commuter could not be affected by a congestion charge).

    …and again, by the metric you give, tomorrow people of the SoF will not have choice to avoid toll to go to Coquitlam. Congestion charge still leave choice to either pay or travel off peak…so why a toll on Port Mann bridge is more acceptable than a congestion charge?


    March 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm

  5. RF.
    Why not buy the magazine at the Coquitlam town centre?


    March 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm

  6. ^True that, but people need mobility for all sorts of reasons. What if RF could only find a particular magazine at specialty shop in richmond? what if he was friends with the owner and they would chat for the afternoon?

    If you view a metro area or city as a dynamic place full of an exchange of ideas and interactions, quick mobility is key to that. This should be the case for RF once they finally start building the evergreen line to the tricities.


    March 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

  7. Thanks Mezzanine…you guessed right why I had to go to Richmond…
    Andrew..besides a magazine I can only get in Richmond. the selection of magazines at the Coquitlam town centre and other malls nearby is pitiful compared to downtown Vancouver..hence the reason I seldom go to the Coquitlam malls..
    Let’s face it, just walking at random around Vancouver is a lot more pleasant than walking anywhere in Coquitlam…

    Red frog

    March 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

  8. these all sound reasonable to me… but also important justifications for congestion charging.

    Maybe the transit ride home would be a great chance to read the magazine?


    March 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: