Two years in prison

The average motorist commutes each workday about 76 minutes in the GTA. About 30 of these minutes, are lost to congestion. Assuming a five day work week, after 32 years, a motorist will have spent two years standing in traffic. Since we have as yet no workable plans to solve this problem, this is like a two-year jail sentence with no chance of parole.

If road pricing were used to help solve this problem, we might expect to pay about five cents per kilometer to use these roads. If you commuted each day from Oakville to Toronto, that would be a round-trip of 76 km. Those 32 years of commuting at five cents a kilometer would cost you $30,400 in 2007 dollars, if you continued to use your car. If you were to go to prison instead that would imply that you value your life at $15,200 per year. That's about minimum wage.

But few people working at minimum wage can afford a car.

Since they are mostly without cars, the mathematics of congestion pricing does not harm poor people. But the mathematics of NOT deploying congestion pricing harms all of us, and the jail time is only part of it.

And that is the good news.

The bad news is that congestion is still on track to get about 3 times worse between now and 2030.

Your jail time is about to be compounded, and there is still no chance of parole. You should demand your councilor fight for congestion pricing on your behalf as a human right.

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