Simon Fraser University - Continuing Studies, City Program

Easing Congestion in Metro Vancouver: Prices Without Subsidies (Free Public Lecture)
February 25, 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at SFU Woodwards)
149 West Hastings

Registration is free, but reservations are required at:

Andrew Coyne will talk about a unified approach to pricing cars and transit.

Transit advocates commonly suppose that subsidizing transit more heavily will induce more people to give up their cars, thus alleviating congestion. The evidence for this is scant, while a better solution is at hand: pricing roads.

Not only would road tolls automatically make transit more competitive with cars, but surface transit users would also benefit from the faster traffic flows that result. Pricing road use is the only effective way to induce people to drive less: indeed, as road use is at present rationed by time rather than money, other proposed methods (e.g., wider roads, carpooling, synchronized lights, etc.,) end up inducing people to drive more, since they reduce the time-price of using the roads. Put the revenues from road tolls toward subsidizing transit? No: subsidized transit suffers from much the same defects as subsidized roads — both mask the real price of resource use, and both encourage sprawl. Moreover, to the extent subsidies make transit less dependent on riders for revenues, they lessen incentives to innovate and improve service.

Sponsors: TransLink, SFU City Program, UniverCity, HUB, NAIOP, Climatesmart, BCSLA, Unifor, PIBC