Congestion relief pricing & New Mobility fees: How We Roll, March 1

More below about that headline…


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:

L.A. Metro will study how to make driving more expensive — in your car or in an Uber  (LAT)

Metro inching toward taxing cars in LA County, even if you use Uber or Lyft (Daily News)

The Age of Congestion Pricing May Finally Be Upon Us (Wired)

Could Paying To Drive Improve Your Commute? LA Metro Is Looking Into It (LAist)

Metro Board wants studies on congestion pricing and ride-sharing tax (The HUB)

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:





1 reply

  1. As i have explained previously, Santa Monica and Sunset Bl’s are nightmares most of the day with super grid lock and no MTA plan to alleviate the problem and in fact have added to the problem in the West L.A. area with their short sighted so called improvements to the 405. Will I have to pay a fee in the future just so I can go to the gym or the Pavilion Market to do my grocery shopping? I buy in bulk many items and loading them on and off a bus then carting them up a steep hill are not an option. Pavilion is not a 24 hour market and in order to get a good selection of fresh food one must go during the day and not at night when everything is picked over or sold out.