Montreal considering congestion fee for drivers
Published Friday, April 7, 2017 9:38PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 7, 2017 9:43PM EDT
They call it a congestion fee.
Montreal is considering charging drivers to get into the city. Backed by Mayor Denis Coderre, the goal is to reduce the amount of traffic in Montreal.
“What we need to do eventually, instead of having a toll booth to pay on the Champlain Bridge (is)… to think about what the options are to make sure long term we have the money we need,” he said.
Coderre has always been outspoken against tolls on the Champlain Bridge, saying in May 2014: “That bridge is of high importance to our global economy, we don't have to put a toll.”
Having what's known as a congestion tax, however, is something he's open to, adding the money would be invested in public transit.
Craig Sauve, Projet Montreal's transport critic, says the mayor is flip-flopping on the matter.
“In 2013, he was against the toll on the Champlain Bridge but now in 2017, he's floating new ideas, but there have been no studies, no vision, there's no concrete plan there,” he said.
A congestion tax is a fee charged to enter a specific zone. A number of major cities have a similar charge, including London, Stockholm and San Francisco.
There are no details yet on the amount that would be imposed upon drivers. In London, the fee is just under $20CDN.
“Basically they are to dissuade too many people in their cars to come to the downtown area,” said traffic analyst Rick Leckner, who said he supports the congestion fee and thinks it should be tested.
While it would reduce the number of cars, it would also reduce the amount of people who come downtown, said Leckner.
“I know people from Laval and the South Shore will complain. Retailers have to be taken into consideration as well, because I think people will stop driving into downtown. Coming downtown is a challenge now, so people are staying away anyway,” he said.