The City of Seattle is exploring congestion pricing as a way to address traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a more equitable transportation system.
Congestion pricing is based on the idea that traffic congestion comes with high costs to society and to individuals in the form of air and climate pollution, traffic collisions, and slower commutes for everyone. When tolls are charged—especially when based on demand so that the more congested a road becomes, the higher the fee to use it—some people make changes to some of their trips. To avoid tolls, they may choose to drive during off-peak times, shift to carpools or transit, or combine trips.
As the City considers congestion pricing in Seattle, the City of Seattle is committed to prioritizing racial and social equity, and to exploring how a pricing program might improve access to opportunities and reduce current inequities.
This summary report includes highlights of the work to date. It focuses on the lessons other cities have learned, the pricing tools that appear most promising for Seattle, potential equity impacts, best practices in communications, and next steps for future phases of work.