Congestion Pricing Works in Minnesota
There are several previous CD posts on congestion pricing for traffice: here, here and here, based on the principles that: a) anytime you have congestion it's because of a failure to apply market pricing, and b) market pricing helps to elminate or reduce congestion.
The WSJ has an article about congestion pricing on I-394 in Minneapolis that introduced HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes in 2005, where tolls range from 25 cents to $8, varying with the amount of congestion in order to keep traffic moving along at close to 55 miles an hour.
"HOT lanes work like this: Sensors in the pavement track the number of cars and their driving speed. When traffic slows, computers increase the toll to discourage other cars from entering the lanes. Toll amounts are displayed on huge digital signs and debited from an electronic smart card inside the driver's vehicle. At the height of rush hour, drivers can pay around $3 to $5. Carpoolers, buses and motorcycles still use the lane with no toll.
Now the idea is picking up speed across the U.S., with plans under way in more than a dozen cities and states. If all of the express lanes are built, millions of American commuters could face less driving misery every day."
Now who would have expected the People's Republic of Minnesota to be at the country's forefront of market solutions to traffic congestion? See a previous post here on Minnesota's anti-market solutions to textbook pricing and foreign-made flags.