Cross-posted from City Observatory.
The Oregon Legislature has directed the state’s department of transportation to come up with a value pricing system for interstate freeways in the Portland metropolitan area. A key idea behind value pricing is that it would charge those who use freeways at congested peak hours a higher toll than at other times; tolls might even be zero in off-peak hours, giving travelers strong incentives to use the system when there was available capacity. One of the concerns that’s been raised about value pricing is that it will be an undue burden on the poor or low wage workers who might have little choice but to travel at the peak hour. Bike Portland‘s Jonathan Maus explains how this came up at a recent Portland City Council meeting, in testimony presented by the Oregon Department of Transportation’s public affairs staffer Shelli Romero:
Surprisingly, she [Romero] also