Talk to any New Yorker and they will tell you how bad traffic is in the city. Recently, policymakers decided to address the problem by introducing a bill that would charge vehicles over $10 to drive in the busiest parts of Manhattan. But to ensure that their congestion pricing plan is effective, lawmakers should draw lessons from other cities that have made it work. London, for example, introduced a similar policy in 2003 and since then the number of private vehicles entering central London has declined by 39 percent. An important aspect that made London’s congestion fee a success in addressing traffic is that the city made sure it was ready to offer alternative and affordable transit options. It’s also crucial for cities to emphasize to the public the universal benefits that can stem from such a policy, and to not back down when facing opposition. For instance, when Stockholm decided to implement its own congestion charge, public approval for the fee was below 40 percent, but not long after, support for the policy grew to 70 percent when the public started to feel the benefits.

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