Congestion Pricing - could it be part of Missouri's transportation funding solution? | FHWA

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Congestion pricing - sometimes called value pricing - is a way of harnessing the power of the market to reduce the waste associated with traffic congestion. Congestion pricing works by shifting purely discretionary rush hour highway travel to other transportation modes or to off-peak periods, taking advantage of the fact that the majority of rush hour drivers on a typical urban highway are not commuters. By removing a fraction (even as small as 5%) of the vehicles from a congested roadway, pricing enables the system to flow much more efficiently, allowing more cars to move through the same physical space. Similar variable charges have been successfully utilized in other industries - for example, airline tickets, cell phone rates, and electricity rates. There is a consensus among economists that congestion pricing represents the single most viable and sustainable approach to reducing traffic congestion.

MoBikeFed comment: So far, proposed solutions to Missouri's transportation funding problem have focused on increasing taxes and increasing funding.

Is it time to think about some solutions that have the potential to allow us to get more value and more use out of the existing transportation system?

Congestion pricing has the potential to reduce rush-hour congestion, meaning that we can use our existing road system for longer without multi-billion dollar expansion projects--and the taxes needed to pay for them.