Cambridge and New York Congestion Charges?

Both the City of Cambridge in England and the City of New York in the USA are currently considering congestion charging schemes. That’s despite the fact that the London scheme has proved to be an abject failure in cutting congestion even after increases in the charge several times.

The Cambridge scheme has been proposed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and would impose a charge of £5 for private vehicles between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. There may be some exemptions and bus fares may be able to be reduced as a result – but there are no promises on either.

This would be another camera enforced scheme, like the London one. For more details see https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-5-congestion-charge-bus-24863757

Note that there was a debate on a proposed congestion charge for Cambridge at which I spoke in 2008. See a report on the meeting here: https://www.freedomfordrivers.org/Debate_on_%20Road_Pricing_Cambridge.pdf . The vote at the end was against one.

New York has also been considering a congestion charge scheme for some time but there has been strong opposition. Particularly from New Jersey residents who already pay high tolls to cross bridges into the City. The proposed charge by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to drive into downtown Manhattan would be $23 and would be used to subsidise public transport fares.

New York has the same problem as London. Transit ridership has rebounded slower than the MTA was anticipating after the pandemic. Weekday subway ridership is about 60% of 2019 levels. Revenue used to cover about half of the MTA’s operating costs but now pay for 30%, according to the MTA.

Any congestion charge scheme would still need Federal approval.

For more information see: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-26/congestion-pricing-is-going-to-be-the-death-of-lower-manhattan

Roger Lawson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Drivers_London

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