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Discussion paper

Fair and efficient congestion pricing for downtown Seattle

Transport Congestion charges Traffic congestion Toll roads

Uber supports congestion pricing as a solution to urban traffic and so sponsored this white paper to explore the potential impacts of one approach to introducing tolls in Seattle. This analysis uses the best available information on regional travel patterns and the Seattle road network from local planning agencies and Uber’s own operations. While the results offer considerable insight into how congestion pricing could work in Seattle, additional analysis would help validate and extend these findings.

The City of Seattle released a Phase 1 congestion pricing summary report in May 2019 that reviews lessons learned from other cities. The City’s report also identifies potential pricing policies for additional study including an area pricing policy. The authors analyze one version of area pricing in this white paper that they label Fair and Efficient tolling. The City’s Phase 1 report maps out a multi-stage public process that includes a public vote. Uber intends that this study support the City of Seattle’s efforts to shape a congestion pricing policy that is equitable, beneficial to residents, and capable of gaining public support.

This white paper offers a promising glimpse of a fair and efficient approach to congestion pricing that could generate significant benefits for the city and potentially win broad support. It also identifies additional analytic work that could be done by the City of Seattle, others working in the public interest, and the professional planning and engineering community to advance public understanding of how best to implement congestion pricing.

Related Information

Seattle congestion pricing study: phase 1 summary report https://apo.org.au/node/253581

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