Thursday, August 7, 2008

London is congested and they're charging!

London has one of the oldest underground transportation systems in the world. There is no doubt, the various organized and on-time lines crush Philadelphia’s public transportation services. The tube and buses within London are the main source of transport for commuters and residents. However successful the public transportation system is, London still struggles to deal with the congestions of automobiles in the city. As a result, London was the first city to introduce a congestion charge of £8 a day, (that is almost 16 US dollars) to people entering the city (Monday to Friday).

I think this idea is great in theory, and other major cities should follow suit. With over-populated cities, pollution and gas prices at record highs, this is not only a practical approach to the city’s problem but also a step in a “greener” direction. However, it surely is easier when there are other reliable alternative transportation options. It should also be noted, that since the congestion charge was implemented in 2003, the city still experiences major traffic delays. Though, the number of cars has decreased, the flow of traffic can still be extremely slow.

So, what do you think… Would Philadelphia benefit from a congestion charge to enter the city, or is it not yet necessary?

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