This is quite a shift as southern California lawmakers have tried to steer clear of decisions that make driving more expensive or inconvenient, afraid of angering one of their largest groups of constituents.
The study will look at how to convert carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers based on the number of miles they travel or charging a fee to enter certain neighbourhoods and business districts.
In February of this year, MTA’s board of directors will be asked to approve this study and assemble a panel of experts to examine how congestion pricing would work. The process is estimated to take about two years.
MTA has stated that getting more drivers off the road could free up space to speed up bus service, while the billions of dollars in revenue could fund a vast expansion of the transit network before the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.
Congestion pricing has the potential to generate revenue to fund better transit services and even better walking and biking infrastructure. However, it is still important to look at how this type of pricing strategy may affect the most vulnerable commuters such as low-income families, students, and the elderly.
Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.