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Trump's budget backing for congestion charges is "common sense," says The Economist

Lee Baker
25 May 2017

President Donald Trump's first major budget proposal's backing for congestion-pricing on roads in the U.S is a "common-sense measure that could attract bi-partisan support," including to a columnist in The Economist.

The Gulliver column says that Trump, having promised $1 trillion in infrastructure investment that is predicated on additional private investment being attracted, "needs to provide a way for private investors to get a return". The paragraph in the budget proposal moots incentivising innovative approaches by localities "to think outside of the box in solving long-standing congestion challenges," with grants to urban areas"willing to institute a suite of solutions to congestion, including congestion-pricing," but also increased telecommuting and flexible scheduling on public transport.

The blog says that charges on 'express lanes,' including, in L.A, those previously only available to high-occupancy vehicles, fall short of London's comprehensive model, but are "the first step along the way," and had proved popular with Angelenos. It concludes that pricing could lead to motorists "pay[ing] an extra few bucks [who] might find the improved experience and speed of access are well worth the price".

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