London Congestion

Congestion pricing is working out great in London. Let me add my voice to the chorus pointing out that distributive concerns are a canard in this context. At the moment, the only jurisdictions contemplating congestion pricing are those that already feature fairly extensive public transit networks. In places like that, lower-income people are disproportionate users of public transit. Measures that tax drivers and use the funds to boost transit service help folks at the bottom.

One might note that congestion pricing is also good for people who really really like to drive. It's not, after all, just a fee in exchange for which drivers get nothing. Rather, the fee is the price you pay for less crowded roads. To some people, that'll be a price that's not worth paying and they won't drive (hence the reduced crowding) but to others it'll be a price that is worth paying and those people should be understood as beneficiaries of the policy, even though they're literally the ones paying the price.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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