Stockholm, London offer studies in equity in road pricing: WSP expert

Item date: 
December 24, 2019
Item context: 

WSP consultant Daniel Firth was interviewed for this article after his Transport Futures Equity Summit presentation about congestion pricing. Though we wholeheartedly agree with what Dan says about London, Stockholm and Vancouver, we do not think comparing congestion pricing systems to 407 ETR facility pricing is a fair comparison for the following reasons:

  • facility pricing and congestion pricing are very different tolling systems, usually with different objectives. For example, congestion pricing is implemented on existing roads in city cores whereas facility pricing is usually implemented on new highways or expanded highways (e.g. High Occupancy Toll Lanes);
  • half of 407 ETR was built 2-3 decades ago. The province then sold it to the private consortium in 1999 to balance the province’s books and get the other half built at no cost to taxpayers – only those using the road pay for capital and operating expenses through tolls.
  • CPP owns over 50% of the private highway so those with pensions are benefiting from those who drive the highway (who are saving time, vehicular wear and tear and emissions).