LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – It’s no secret that Los Angeles has some of the worst traffic in the world, but now county leaders are considering a plan that would charge commuters for driving in traffic-congested areas during rush hour.
Metro and several other groups are pushing for “Congestion Pricing.”
“Congestion Pricing is basically a way to relieve traffic in heavily impacted areas during peak times,” said Art Yoon, Southern California Association of Governments policy and public affairs director. “Using principals of economics – so what you try to do is regulate the amount of demand, and therefore, you regulate the amount of supply.”
The plan could mean paying to drive on major highways and freeways, like the 5, 10, 60 or 101. Or, possibly, a similar system to the 10 and 110 Expressways, which gives commuters a choice to pay to avoid traffic.
Other ideas include corridor charging, which means motorists in areas such as downtown L.A. or around LAX would incur a fee.
“It seems kinda unfair, I probably wouldn’t go,” said driver Joseph Martinez.
On Thursday, the head of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority also voiced his support for the tolls.
L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington presented a report detailing the plan that would allow Metro to add more bus and train services in an effort to reduce freeway congestion, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Taxing Uber and Lyft rides is reportedly another proposed solution to close a $26.2 billion gap in 28 projects slated for completion before the 2028 Olympic Games in L.A.
Similar plans in Singapore, Milan and London have proven successful. In Central London, drivers are charged $15 for weekdays.
New York City is considering a daily $12 fee for cars in Manhattan south of Central Park.
“It’s worked in 24 other places around the globe. I’m confident it can work here, too,” Yoon said.
Some drivers said they’re ready to pay if it means less traffic.
“I think it’s a very great idea. Anything to progress and to get better than what we have right now,” said Sandy Christiansen.
Metro will discuss the ideas in January or February, but there is currently no date in place to vote on Congestion Pricing or what that price could be.