Tolls, Taxes, And The Price Ya Pay!

The Gazette Op-Ed pages today are filled with comments about the concept of there being tolls on the bridges to Montreal Island. An editorial says, “Bridge Tolls? Why Not? Road Tolls? No Way!” And Henry Aubin suggests that tolls are not the way to go but instead there should just be a raise in gasoline taxes. I have talked generally about the idea of Congestion Pricing in the past as an option gaining credibility around the world. And all these talks of raising money are about how to pay for the massive road infrastructure replacements and repairs that are desperately needed in Quebec.

So there are three choices.

1) Putting tolls on bridges (and possibly all highways).

2) Raising gasoline taxes.

3) Congestion Pricing ( pay as you go in Montreal).

And if you answered all of the above you win the prize. The rest of you will just have to get used to the idea that while it will not happen overnight, it is very difficult for me to imagine a form of all three not happening 10 years from now. The city and the province need money and repairing and building highway infrastructure is not going to suddenly start getting cheaper. Gasoline may be out of reach for 25% or more of the drivers on the road today in 10 years. Something has to give, and it’s going to be the price ya pay!
And that, folks, is today’s doomsday report! (smile).

Study in Ontario recommends tolls, tax hikes.

And perhaps the biggest concern for the future of our roads is who will be administering the tolls, etc? There are already companies who administer road tolls throughout Europe and it is starting to happen in US states such as Indiana and Colorado. The privatization of roads will make driving on them a privilege, not the God given right that we have come to take for granted. That could all be long term good news for cities as people and businesses may be much more likely to look at the urban core as the most practical place to be.

5 responses to “Tolls, Taxes, And The Price Ya Pay!

  1. Your essentially right that car users are going to be slowly but surely bleed to death by extra charges of all sorts, until only the wealthy will be able to afford such a ‘luxury’. So back 100 years then; back to the progress! 🙂

  2. Yes, Matt, back to the progress indeed. We have seen leadership in the West plunge optimistically into the notion that the economy always sorts itself out, global warming is simply a construct by paranoid scientists, and, somehow, the Earth has unlimited abilities to produce materials.

    Well, we are over 30 years behind as far as common sense and automobiles are concerned. We probably should have been mass producing electric automobiles as early as 1973-74 when there was at least some very valid political reasons to do so. Today, we have little choice and with the US Military sitting seemingly forever in Iraq, more or less babysitting the oil reserves of the Middle East, one has to wonder how much longer it will be before voters in the West finally wake up and reject the agendas that continue to perpetuate this mess.

  3. > one has to wonder how much longer it will be before voters in the West finally wake up and reject the agendas that continue to perpetuate this mess.

    It did happen in Spain but it took a massive terrorist attack in Madrid for the voters to reject having their troops in Iraq. The Socialist Party have just been voted back in too.

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