LA Metro approves congestion pricing study, aims to reduce traffic

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Metro Transportation Authority wants to know if drivers would be willing to pay a fee to reduce traffic, authorizing a study to examine the feasibility of fees and potential ways the fees could be assessed on a driver.

"Congestion in LA County is really bad and only getting worse," said MTA spokesman Dave Sotero.

Metro is looking at "congestion pricing" as a solution, which would potentially involve paying a fee for entering a congestion corridor such as the Sepulveda Pass, number of miles traveled or when entering a congestion zone, referred to as a "cordon."

New GPS technologies could track a driver's route.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that multiple cities are reviewing "congestion pricing."

Advocates say that the program was initially spurned in Stockholm, Sweden. But support swelled after traffic was reduced by 20 percent.

In New York City, congestion fees went into effect for taxis and rideshares. At some point all cars entering Manhattan may have to pay.

Revenues would be earmarked to upgrade public transportation.

MTA said that the program aims at making transportation easier for people of all income levels.

Low-income laborers who must drive in congested areas could get discounted fees. Riders on public transportation could potentially travel for free.

"That hasn't been done anywhere in the world," Sotero said.

Metro said the study will take two years to complete.
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