Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Far from it, toll roads reduce congestion on non toll roads so non toll payers also benefit from them.

If you want an improvement then paying by weight and mileage would be more fair unlike our current system which discounts trucks which do far more damage than their fuel usage accounts for. But, tolls are on net an even worse system than we already have.

>so non toll payers also benefit from them.

That's just a glass half full way of saying that tolls keep poor people from taking trips that would involve those roads so the roads are less busy. $5 or $10 isn't much when your lunch is an overpriced $15 bagel at some trendy authentic restaurant. People who are packing PB&J to the job side avoid the toll road even if it takes longer

Road tolls are just another regressive tax. If the state senators don't want to sit in the same gridlock as the plebes they should take the train, not tax the plebes off the road. If the train is also too crowded they should increase infrastructure spending on one/both counts until the clusterfuck is reduced to a point they're ok with.

Tolls never go away. The best the poor people can hope for is that they don't get inflation adjusted so that there's a 10-20yr run where it's affordable to use the road before the politicians realize that the toll is low and raise it again.

It's not just about people making the same trip from A->B now using the toll or not. Local roads backup when highways backup. So, the difference can end up very significant even for trips that don't go near the toll roads.

This is a good point, but road use tolls don't have to be the same all day long. Charge more during rush hour, and poor drivers will find ways to use the road at other times.

In practice that means that the tolls are expensive enough to be a PITA for poor people all the time and a PITA for everyone but the rich during peak times. See the DC area for examples.

It may be grim, but in the short term that's probably the best we can do. DC should have fewer drivers and more public transit commuters: that would be a better place to live and work. They're not going to hold a lottery to let one poor dude drive in his own lane and stick some rich dude on a bus.

Your argument applies to congestion charging on existing roads. Using tolls to fund additional capacity that wouldn't otherwise exist is a different thing.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact