February 10, 2006
PDOT Budget Moves Forward
Over at Commissioner Sam, Sam has outlined the Portland Office of Transportation Budget he has submitted to the Mayor, including a 17% reduction in the General Transportation Revenue fund (driven primarily by reductions in gas tax revenue).
I am very intrigued by one item in the "change initiatives" list:
Accurately price transportation trips and services
I'm assuming this refers to the idea of making mode choices reflect their true costs, including externalities, so that consumers make 'market choices' that reflect the real impacts. If so, I'm wondering if this would imply and or all of the following:
- Capturing the hidden subsidies and environmental impacts of automobiles with either a substantial local gas tax or some kind of congestion fee like London's center-city surcharge?
- Making transit fares reflect the true cost of the service, perhaps with some credit for more efficient use of the infrastructure?
- Paying people to walk and bike, capturing the positive externalities for the environment and public health?
What do people think?
February 11, 2006 2:35 AM
Scott Mizée Says:
uuummmmm.... I think the cyclists might go for getting paid for their "service to the community." :P
February 11, 2006 6:17 AM
Re: "Capturing the hidden subsidies and environmental impacts of automobiles with either a substantial local gas tax or some kind of congestion fee like London's center-city surcharge?"
Wow, I can just imagine imposing this policy on cars that enter Fareless Square. Which would make complete and total sense, since there is really no good reason to drive there... just build some more parking garages around the periphery (perhaps atop I-405 on the westside and I-5 and I-84 on the eastside) for cars to park at, then make pople take the free transit to get around within the fareless zone. Unless, that is, they care to pay for the priveledge of driving to enter said zone!
Veeerrryyyyy intriguing, Mr. Smith. :-)
February 13, 2006 8:44 PM
Tom Cox Says:
Garlynn - check out London's tax on inner city car use. I absolutely agree that hidden subsidies are evil, distort the market, and lead to expensive and sub-optimal outcomes.
I might not take it so far as to pay bikers, though some recent healthcare plans might.