Vancouver used traffic congestion as a ‘stick’ and the SkyTrain as a ‘carrot’ in a strategy to discourage car use and make the city a better place to live.
Instead of spending ever more on roads, we can learn from Vancouver's use of congestion as a 'friend' in managing the development of transport networks and of the city itself.
Urgent and radical change in urban transport policies and practices will benefit the planet and future generations.
To cut emissions within the 12 years or so we have left to avoid disastrous global warming, we will need to change our old transport habits, using a combination of strategies to achieve this.
Federal and state governments have put their hands up to fund airport rail links before we have even seen business cases.
Billions of taxpayer dollars are committed before all the evidence for, and against, infrastructure projects is in. As well as missing business cases, basic rules of economic modelling are broken.
Friend or foe?
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
In many US cities, ride-hailing apps are luring riders away from public transit and increasing traffic congestion. But with the right rules, they could enhance public transit instead.
The congestion charge has helped to ease traffic and raise funds. But the rise of Uber and other private hire vehicles have raised unforeseen challenges.
Times Square traffic jam.
New York soon may charge a fee to drive into central Manhattan as a way of reducing traffic and raising funds for public transit. An urban scholar says this step is overdue in the United States.
The majority of working Australians drive to and from work.
Australians are crying out for political leadership. One way our leaders can redeem themselves is by getting to work on a complete shake-up of how we pay for and use transport infrastructure.
It's about time Europe ditched the diesels – so what are the alternatives?
Road user pricing would encourage people to take non-essential trips at a different time, or not at all.
Charging people to drive has been the dream of policy wonks – serving politicians tend to see it as political poison. So when federal minister Paul Fletcher raises it, that's a step forward.
By persuading some drivers to travel a different route or at a different time, congestion charges can dramatically improve the flow of traffic.
Bigger cities increase wages, output and innovation, but also problems of congestion and pollution. Congestion charges can minimise these problems by dramatically improving traffic flows.
If the choice is between waiting in their cars and long waits on inefficient public transport, many people prefer to drive.
Once a new road opens, people switch back to cars and congestion increases back to a steady-state point of gridlock. For lasting effectiveness, policy needs to include congestion charges and better rail services.