Thursday, April 03, 2008

Congestion Pricing - A Blessing In Disguise

Congestion pricing—the notion that inner city drivers must pay fees according to the miles they drive, gas they consume, or carbon they emit—may soon make the lives of London's inner city drivers more miserable than they already are. Smog breathing pedestrians, on the other hand, will probably cheer stiff new carbon emissions fees. After all, nothing says, "Take public transport moron!" like a $50.00/day fee to drive your Range Rover from Chelsea to Westminster.

But is it really going to deter the well-heeled from schlepping their kids to school in the civilian equivalent of a tank? Probably not. Take, for example, the attitude of one Kensington mom:
We'd have a massive loss if we tried to sell our cars. And I can't have a tiny little car because I have three children who go to three different schools. At the moment, we just have to pay. We really have no choice.

What utter nonsense! First, one wonders what about multiple schools is relevant to the size of one's car. Second, get rid of the SUV, put the kids on public transit, and you make up any possible losses in the first year. I mean...gas in London is going for the equivalent of $8/gallon. So let's say that you save a gallon per day at that price, tack on the new congestion fee, and right there you've got $290/week or a whopping $15,080/year. And that doesn't even count the cost of bloody Rover, maintenance, and insurance (which I imagine for London must be a crippling cost). it cruel to put the kids on public transit? Maybe, but tell 'em it's going into a college trust fund, and maybe they'll think differently in a few years. The point being: Congestion pricing is coming to larger cities whether you like it or not. You can hold on to your foolish attitudes about needing a car...SUV...whatever, or you can give in to the inevitable and accept it. Because you know what it really is? Manna from f*cking heaven, that's what!

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