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Houston Shot Down A Commuter Fee, But What Was It?
At last week’s marathon Houston city council meeting to consider the $5.1 billion fiscal year 2020 budget, one council member attempted to tack on an amendment that would have opened the door for a “commuter fee” better known as congestion pricing.
Council - Member - Martha - Castex-Tatum - District
Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum (District K) offered the amendment, with the full support of Mayor Sylvester Turner, and it would have created an exploratory committee to research the new fee. “This is just an opportunity for us to look for another way to source some additional revenue,” she said as she rolled out the amendment. The amendment died because of a tie vote of 7-7 (two council members were out of chambers and couldn’t vote), but there wasn’t much of a discussion as to what exactly is a congestion fee and what commuters should expect.
The concept has been around for some time and implemented internationally in London, Stockholm, and Singapore, but New York City will be the first U.S. to implement it.
Simply - Commuters - City - Core - Revenue
Simply put, commuters would pay to drive into the city’s core. The revenue would be used for infrastructure improvements as, according to the council member, commuters aren’t currently paying their fair share.
In practice, governing entities designate a “congestion zone,” or multiple zones, and...
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