Congestion pricing and tolling have the power to reduce commute times, and make our metropolitan transportation networks far more efficient and environmentally friendly. But some have argued that tolls disproportionately burden lower and middle class drivers—a premise I and other transportation experts do not agree with. And this morning, it looks like we have more proof. The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a study conducted by UCLA and USC on the effects of tolling:
“The study comes from Lisa Schweitzer, an assistant professor of policy, planning and development at USC, and Brian Taylor, a professor of urban planning who heads UCLA's Transportation Studies center. Taylor, in particular, has long been a vocal advocate of congestion pricing. The study has been published online in Transportation, an academic journal.
“Their study is based on the toll lanes on the 91 Freeway in Orange County. The two authors found that medium- and high-income earners tend to use the lanes the most -- and therefore are the ones paying for the debt service on the lanes.”
Read the complete column here.