Gridlock's Price

Item date: 
September 10, 2014
Item context: 

This letter to the editor by Scott Butler of the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) neatly paraphrases what was learned at our recent Solving Gridlock Forum: building transit -- on its own -- will not reduce congestion; only road pricing (in conjunction with other mobility pricing measures) will ensure reliable travel times for all modes.  Since they first attended Transport Futures in 2010, OGRA has spoken alongside other international experts and been a generous sponsor at our events.  We thank them for their leadership and advocacy on the need for mobility pricing in Ontario!

Gridlock’s Price

The assumption that transit expansion will remedy congestion is fundamentally flawed (How Gridlock Became The Make-or-Break Issue – Sept. 6). Numerous studies from jurisdictions around the world have found that road-pricing tools are the only effective solution for congestion.

London’s experience shows that road pricing can be used to generate revenue for transit expansion. Stockholm has shown that road pricing can be implemented democratically. And the experience of Valletta, Malta’s capital, shows that this approach can be scaled to communities of almost any size.

Each of the transit proposals being put forward by the four leading candidates to be Toronto’s mayor has merit. However, none of them will have any noticeable effect on the gridlock that is confounding Toronto.

Scott Butler, policy and research, Ontario Good Roads Association