Analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. offered what other readers thought was a negative, almost calloused comment. It was so badly received that he managed to have it removed, leaving only copies in other’s comments.
"These kinds of [road tolling] technologies make [transportation] more efficient, I don't deny that, but if governments collectively want to protect the 900,000 to one million jobs in the automotive industry, they also have to accept that we need more vehicles, not less ... I'm against road pricing… We need consumers to drive more, not less."I read his full original, it was brutally honest. His comment was lambasted by a couple of others. But DesRosiers is in every way correct. He has a right to an opinion that it should not be done (in fact he agrees it would be effective). His critical point, however, was “if governments collectively want to protect the 900,000 to one million jobs in the automotive industry…”
DesRosiers is on to something. He's uncovered the REAL problem. It is not “privacy”. It is not “equity for the poor”. It is not “because we already pay fuel tax”. It is not even that about a third of readers don’t understand market economics, which DesRosiers clearly does. The problem DesRosiers points to is that the government is tripping over itself. The Ministry of Energy is promising that Ontario Power Generation will be ready with the electricity for the presumably-pending electric vehicle. The Ministry of Industry is promising (and investing) in saving automotive jobs. The Ministry of Revenue refuses to raise gas tax. The Ministry of Transportation is refusing to toll roads, while insisting that Metrolinx figure out the missing $38B to fix our egregious transportation (cars, transit and bikes) system.
Fleet electrification plus government money artificially pumping out more and more cars will accelerate the pressure on our roads -- both lack of funding due to the withering gas-tax and congestion as a consequence of the government's DesRosierian Economics. And on my car radio this morning, as I waited for three light changes to get through one intersection, I listened to a report that Canada has its greatest debt ever and another story about global warming.
Who are the biggest losers in all this? You are. You are stuck in filth and traffic whether on bus, bike or car because government Ministries are uncoordinated and isolated from each other, each with their own bacon to save. And which Ministry loses for lack of coordination? They all do.
If you want to use your car ten years from now, you should ask for road pricing to reduce congestion. If you want to use transit 10 years from now you should ask for road pricing to double your service. If you want to use a bike 10 years from now you should ask for road pricing to open up room for bikeways. If you want to telework 10 years from now you should ask for road pricing so your employer can better justify your not spending time and money to drive to the office (your employer respects your money, but discounts your time). If you want a greener city 10 years from now you should ask for road pricing that varies by engine type.
And, if you really hate government so much, you should ask for road pricing, and then never drive again. If you really think it is all a big tax grab, why not just starve them out?