|Traffic congestion isn't free. Cars trapped on Calle 26.|
Here are some arguments against such a charge, and why they don't make hold up:
'Car drivers already pay more than their fair share of taxes and tolls.'
'A congestion charge would favor the rich.'
'A congestion charge is too much for an already-overburdened middle class'
This argument falls apart for many reasons. A congestion charge would be only a tiny fraction of the
|Trapped! How much would you pay to get out of this jam?|
But there's a larger issue here: Traffic congestion, pollution, noise and all the other problems associated with too many cars cost Bogotanos monumental amounts of time and money. By reducing congestion, a congestion fee would save everybody time, and money, and increase productivity. If they save, say, a half hour or an hour per day, even those who pay the congestion fee will benefit and save money.
There are many other very basic steps Bogotá's leaders could take to rationalize traffic, such as creating carpool lanes, setting up a website for potential carpoolers to connect, considering traffic impacts when evaluating urban projects.
Congestion pricing produces opposition at first. But in nearly every city where it's been tried, it has stuck, suggesting that residents come to recognize the policy's benefits.