You've probably seen many phrases being thrown out there interchangeably. Many of them don't seem super obvious. Let's use the information below to understand these terms better.
this is a really broad term that's used to refer to different things
car / bike share fees
road / bridge tolls
ride-hailing / taxi fares
these terms refer to all the ways a user would pay to get around
This is a principle within Mobility Pricing that relates to how we pay/price. A user pays for how much they use the mobility network.
This can be applied through a blunt mechanism (e.g. 3 zone transit fares, annual insurance costs, fuel costs), or in ways where the price is more reflective of the use (e.g. distance-based insurance, transit fares, road usage charges).
Why do we price mobility?
- Pay for Operations + Maintenance
- Raise revenue
- Generate Profit (private sector)
- Manage the mobility system
Issues with Existing Pricing Principles
In recent years, we have separated how much we use from how much we pay. That is, our usage is not as reflective of the costs, as it once was.
For example, the fuel tax does not apply to electric vehicles, but these vehicles still add to congestion.
Often, current pricing is applied in ways that do not reflective how much a person uses.
We currently do not pay for many indirect costs of mobility, like greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, congestion and overcrowding, noise, crashes, etc.
If we attempt to target things like congestion and pollution, then prices would need to vary by timing and location.
If the User-Pays principle was applied, pricing would be designed to target these indirect costs of mobility, and this would be implemented in ways described below.
Making sense of
There are three types of Road Pricing systems:
Area / Cordon System
A fee is charged for driving into or within a defined boundary area. Sometimes, this is also referred to as a congestion charge.
You probably saw this in the news coverage about Vancouver's proposal.
This system charges a set fee for using a road, bridge, or tunnel to pay for that piece of infrastructure.
The former tolling system on the Port Mann bridge is an example of this.
This system charges a fee for the use of roads over the entire mobility network, typically measured in terms of distance travelled.
(a brief history)
Mobility Pricing has been discussed many times over the previous decades and features in many regional plans. In some plans, it's been envisioned in a package of other pricing plans.
yeah, we've been talking about doing this for a while.
Use the tool below to learn more. You can download all documents mentioned here in the Resources section.
You've probably seen the new proposals from the City of Vancouver with the map of an outlined portion of the city centre along with the term 'mobility pricing' or 'transport pricing'. Let's clear some things up.
Transport Pricing is NOT being implemented in Vancouver just yet.
A feasibility study will be undertaken and report back to Council in 2022.
City staff will consult with stakeholders, including residents, on the strategy.
Collaboration with regional and provincial partners will take place.
Protections will be put in place to protect vulnerable groups.
Vancouver uses the term 'Transport Pricing' to refer to a charge on vehicles.
City staff will develop a plan to engage the public in detail
An update with community feedback and more details will be provided to City Council
A transport pricing strategy will go to City Council for a final vote
If approved, transport pricing will be implemented
(from the City)
The City wants to reduce traffic during congested times to make other modes of travel more reliable
They want to create more road space for transit and active transportation (i.e. walking + cycling)
They want the revenue from transport pricing to be invested in transit and walking + cycling to increase access
Vancouver is only going to get more crowded; they want to ensure that we can support the demand
They want to address pollution from vehicles and the contribution of GHG emissions from cars to climate change
Goals + Concerns
(around the world)
Transport Pricing is not a made-in-BC concept. It is already in place in many places around the world, and we can learn from these examples.
Here are the resources we could get our hands on, including archives of our own work engaging the public on this issue back in 2013. We'll update this section as much as possible.
Moving in Metro Summit
SFU City Program
"Mobility Pricing for Vancouver not going anywhere without more political support"
"Vancouver proposes mobility pricing for city streets"
Vancouver Is Awesome
"Mobility Pricing in Vancouver: Port Coquitlam, BC mayor says it's bad policy"
Business in Vancouver
"Mobility Pricing shouldn't be off the table, says TransLink CEO"
You're going to hear a lot from interested parties in the media about whether this is a good idea. No system is perfect, but our challenges aren't going to disappear and some solutions are better than others.
How familiar are you with congestion pricing options?