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Congestion Pricing for New York? Lessons from London

Congestion Pricing for New York? Lessons from London

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by Environmental Sciences Section and the University Transportation Research Center, City College of New York


Discussant: Robert Paaswell, City College

Moderator: Stephen A. Hammer, Columbia University

New York City is now witnessing an unprecedented debate over the possible implementation of a congestion pricing scheme to reduce vehicle traffic. Praised by supporters as a necessary tool to fight gridlock, congestion pricing also has harsh critics who argue it unfairly burdens those for whom public transportation is not a feasible option. One constant throughout this debate—in New York City and other major cities where the strategy is being considered—are references to the congestion pricing scheme in London, which has been hailed as a huge success since it began in February 2003

The Academy is accordingly pleased to welcome one of the key architects of London's program, Malcolm Murray-Clark, who is Director of Congestion Charging at Transport for London (TfL). Mr. Murray-Clark will discuss the details of London's program, including:

  • how TfL assessed driver demand responsiveness prior to establishing toll levels for the program;
  • how the congestion pricing scheme links to a larger set of land use strategies and transport system upgrades planned for London;
  • the environmental impacts of the program, and how it is evolving to address heightened concerns about greenhouse gas emissions;
  • how advances in technology have changed the way TfL will manage the program in the future.

Following Mr. Murray-Clark's presentation, Dr. Robert Paaswell, Director of the University Transportation Research Center at the City College of New York (and former Executive Director of the Chicago Transit Authority) will distill lessons from London's program, explaining the unique considerations local policymakers must keep in mind as they explore whether to pursue a similar strategy in New York City.