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Tolls for Congested Parts of Town? Three Houston Spots to Consider | Houston Press

Normally, Houston don’t spend too much time worrying about the politics in New York City. In many ways, our two cities couldn’t be more different in how we approach our lives and, of course, the layouts of the two metropolises are essentially the polar opposite of one another.

But a proposed law that now has the support of both New York City’s mayor and the state governor bears watching for cities across the country in Houston.

The proposal involves adding a toll for drivers who drive in lower Manhattan during peak hours, referred to as “congestion pricing” in cities like London and Singapore, which already employ such fees. During particularly congested times of day, vehicles would be charged to enter areas below 60th Street in NYC, where it gets most crowded. Think of it like surge pricing during peak hours for Uber and Lyft but excluding a few vehicles like emergency services and the disabled.

New York has struggled over the last few years to prop up its aging subway system and the proliferation of ride share services is creating massive traffic jams in already crowded parts of the city. They hope the revenues from the policy would help to fund billion-dollar upgrades to the transit system and decrease vehicular traffic on Manhattan Island in general. In fact, in London, it decreased traffic by 30 percent moving it to alternate forms of transportation.

But, could it work here?

Toll roads have risen in popularity throughout Texas. Even after the roads are paid for, toll road authorities continue to collect revenues to help fund construction and infrastructure projects, which take the burden off taxing authorities. But a tax just to enter a general area? Seems crazy, but when you consider the revenue that could be raised and put back into what must be one of the most paltry transit systems in any big city in the world, maybe a few spots wouldn’t be so bad.

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Tolls for Congested Parts of Town? Three Houston Spots to Consider | Houston Press.

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