First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
After a century as the city of the automobile, Los Angeles is taking a major step on the road towards congestion charging.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMetro) is to explore road pricing and is also thinking about levying fees on ride-share companies for their part in creating gridlock.
The moves are part of LAMetro’s ‘Re-imagining of Los Angeles County: Mobility, Equity and the Environment’ plan, which seeks policies to make transport sustainable in the famously-congested US city.
LAMetro will now conduct a 12-24 month ‘congestion relief pricing’ feasibility study to evaluate potential models and locations for possible tests.
These will include a ‘cordon model which charges a fee for anyone travelling into a designated zone - as well as a vehicle miles travelled (VMT) model which will apply charges based on the number of vehicle miles travelled within congested areas. In addition, a corridor model will charge drivers based on VMT within a congested corridor.
Upon completion of the study, the LAMetro board will consider a pilot programme to test the concept.
At the same time, as part of an equity strategy, it will develop a plan to improve transit services and investigate potential toll and fare discounts for low-income users.
LAMetro says it will investigate the possibility of imposing charges on new mobility modes, like electric scooters, and ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft, which contribute to congestion.
Sheila Kuehl, LA county supervisor and LAMetro board chair, says: “It’s easy for us to say ‘Fix traffic!’ but it’s going to take serious imagination and out-of-the-box thinking to actually do it.”
“We are ready to explore a whole panoply of ideas that can help reduce traffic, encourage shared trips and get more people on public transit,” Kuehl adds.