Huge news: To alleviate traffic, Metro is not going to expand another freeway but instead look into congestion pricing/charging a fee for Uber and Lyft. To protect those unable to afford a fee, an equity study will be attached. Yes, yes, AND YES. //t.co/iuOy5WVh94
— Brian Addison (@BrianAddisonLB) March 1, 2019
We moved on accelerating several transit projects — including north-south transit from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside and to @flyLAXairport We authorized our CEO to explore congestion pricing to combat traffic and reduce fares. pic.twitter.com/EXBNlxsDZx
— Mike Bonin-Official (@MikeBoninLA) March 1, 2019
Traffic as zen koan paradox: those suffering from it are also causing it. But if a road has no traffic because I'm not driving, does it make me a fan of congestion pricing? Maybe if transit is free and other puzzles Metro is studying: //t.co/TyGUfNQ6Lh
— Meghan McCarty (@meghamama) March 1, 2019
— Shelby Grad (@shelbygrad) March 1, 2019
I like this headline. Metro certainly doesn't want to sell congestion pricing as an attempt to make driving more expensive, but that's exactly what it should be. We don't just need less peak congestion; we need less driving. //t.co/agdVRBbaWq
— Rabi Abonour (@rabonour) March 1, 2019
More below about that headline…
The use of congestion pricing, an extra charge on drivers for using roads where other public transit options are available, is gaining increasing consideration in urban areas. The Onion examines the pros and cons of congestion pricing. //t.co/Q3gTLgcgzp pic.twitter.com/mF6CqtfegF
— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 27, 2019
Congestion pricing in Manhattan moved closer to approval. Mayor Bill de Blasio threw his support behind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan. //t.co/iYfVNP0mmM
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2019
Not exactly an Earth-shaker but certainly mighty interesting: the Metro Board on Thursday voted to launch studies of congestion relief pricing and fees on Transportation Network Companies (i.e. Uber and Lyft, etc.). Whether to go forward with either or both will be decided at a later date by the Metro Board.
The LAT has an excellent story breaking it down and a headline that I think reflects the challenges ahead: “L.A. Metro will study how to make driving more expensive — in your car or in an Uber.”
Not in the headline but in the story: the fees are intended to help improve traffic — the goal isn’t just to making driving more expensive. And, yes, there will be good questions ahead about the expense of both types of fees and whether the results will be worth it.
My three cents: for every person in our region who sees having a car as a necessary evil, I think there is another person who sees their car as a freedom machine worth the expense. And for every person who has a truly wicked commute, there’s usually someone who has a pretty typical commute by American big-city standards. And, of course, people in-between — who maybe want one car instead of two and who want to drive but not quite as much and who want more alternatives.
I think we’re going to hear from all of them during the public outreach for both studies. It should be really fascinating.
As with everything in life, I predict there will be disagreements. (I know. Bold prediction!). That said, I really do hope there is widespread agreement that the status quo when it comes to mobility could be better.
While our mobility can often be quite good — sorry, national media — I think the number and severity of traffic jams we suffer is a bit much (understatement). And while air pollution in our region has overall improved in recent times, I hope there a desire for it be a lot better. Because there is certainly room for improvement.
I’ll shut the piehole now. But please stay tuned. There is plenty of interestingness ahead.
BTW, below are the different media headlines on Thursday’s vote. Try to guess how the copy editor who wrote each gets to work:
Metro Board Approves Studies of Congestion Pricing and TNC Fees (Streetsblog LA)
LA Metro to explore congestion-relief pricing, mobility fees to encourage transit use (Progressive Railroading)
It’s almost time to slide down the dinosaur, so to speak, so a few end of the week things…
•The first CicLAvia of the year is Sunday between Mar Vista, Palms and Culver City. The Expo Line will get you there. Also, the new Metro Bike Hub at Culver City Station opened today.
•LAFC begins its sophomore season at home, also Sunday. The Expo Line will also get you there. Show your TAP card and get a 10 percent discount at The Fields LA, the food hall adjacent to the stadium.
•The new Clean Air vehicle policy for the ExpressLanes begins today. In plain English, no more free rides for solo drives in those vehicles — but there is a discount available. More info here.
•Dept. of Crazy California weather:
This storm has also brought some pretty hefty snow amounts to the mountains. Anywhere from 1 to 7 feet have fallen in 2 days! Periods of heavy mountain snow will continue through tomorrow. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/GG2FyxoWLV
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) February 27, 2019
UPDATE: interstate 80 remains CLOSED this morning from Colfax to the Nevada state line for snow removal operations. No ETO yet. We will issue an update as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/eNysKIcFRg
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) February 27, 2019
Categories: Transportation Headlines