A Manhattan Congestion Charge?

ccharge.jpgIf any US city could sucessfully implement a London-style congestion charge, it would be the New York City borough of Manhattan. The New York Times reports yesterday that this may indeed happen, someday. In my opinion, cars ought to be banned from large swaths of the island because their utility is negligable compared to the amount of land devoted to them. That aside, there are externalities associated with congestion charging that should be considered. Mainly, the massive operating costs. London’s charging scheme employes a great many people, and cost millions of pounds to implement. It is claimed that the costs are being covered by fees, and NYC ought to be certain that it can replicate that success before embarking on a similar plan – and that any extra money goes straight to public transportation, or other public good, such as parks and greenspace.
However, if you’ve every ridden a midtown bus (don’t, it’s faster to walk) then a 30% reduction in the number of cars on the street (as has occured in London, should be music to your ears.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

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