2010/04/28

Why we need toll roads



Toronto's transport system is beset by congestion, emissions, and a lack of funding. The fix is to charge drivers for the roads they use. (From The Mark)

1 comment:

Morgan Ahoff said...

Pay-per-use driving is an important tool to reducing the number of cars on the road, because it liberates people to choose the best transportation option for each trip. Let me explain:
If you compare the cost of a trip by public transit to a trip by car, the car is always more expensive. But because you pay for car insurance annually, when you leave your car in the driveway and take the bus downtown, the cost of insuring your car needs to be factored into your cost of transportation for the day. When you do the math, you find that the convenience of taking the car only costs you about 80 cents more than the bus.
There are lots of advertising campaigns trying to get people to get out of their cars and take the bus, but they're simply not effective, because once a person has bought and insured a car, they are lost to the public transit system. It does not make economic sense to pay insurance on a car every day, and only use it some of the time. These ads are not preaching to the choir; they are preaching to people who have already left and joined another religion.
Consider if you counted the number of driving trips you make in a year, and divided the cost of insurance by them, to get the cost per trip. Every time you left the car at home, the cost-per-trip of driving the car would increase, and youd feel like you're getting poor value. Using your car as much as possible spreads the cost of insurance over a large number of trips, making it good value. It's a system that locks people into using their cars.
Pay-per-use insurance would give drivers the option of choosing to take the bus some of the time, without paying a penalty for leaving an insured car in the driveway. It would enable them to make sensible transportation choices on a trip-by-trip basis, and wean themselves off car dependency.