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02/21/2006

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Arun Khanna

"It would not be effective to charge employers since that requires keeping track of which company each driver works for, and whether their employees drive to work. It also ignores driving during congested times by shoppers."

It seems tracking employers should be as easy as tracking cars. Employers already assign parking lot decals. So using cars with employer parking decals (or license plates) it should be pretty easy to track employer's represented by each car. You are correct that shoppers would have to pay as individuals.
By charging employers, one could even make employee car usage more sensitive to congestion charges. If an employer stops reimbursing certain categories of employees for congestion charges, then employees (following behavioral economics house money effect versus own money effect or standard agency theory based explanations) would be more reluctant to bear such out of pocket congestion charges.

anon

Buffett figured it out. He moved to Omaha and became very successful with only 30-40 employees.

And Walton did not do too bad in Bentonville.

anon


"Moreover, labor force participation rates are generally lower at the bottom end of the income distribution."

Some high-paid people are some of the most unproductive, destructive people in the world. It is called overemployment. If you see this up-front and personal, you will have newfound empathy for low-income people given boondoggles.

Dude

Drivers could get information about current toll fees by cell phone.

Joe Merchant

It is not obvious that congestion fees are regressive since poorer persons are more likely to take buses or subways to work than to drive.

This perspective works in New York, Washington D.C., parts of Metro Atlanta, and a handful of other high-density cities in the U.S. The majority of the U.S. population lives in areas where buses or subways are impractical, or non-existant.

Miami, Florida, even after enacting a local "transit" sales tax, still has 1 hour intervals between city buses on most routes, rail service within a 20 minute walk of about 10% of the Metro population, and a generally dismal park and ride system. At least they have a rail service....

I'm sure a majority of U.S. readers can think about what it would take to get from their home to, well, anywhere via public transit and find that it's impractical, unless they wish to spend more time in transit than on the job, errand, or whatever they are doing.

emma

That's true, but I must admit that its just the way you view the issue.

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