PROBLEM WITH CONGESTION
In many cities across the world, the problem of traffic congestion is the major issue that affects the administration and capacity to do business. As such, the city of Toronto is no exception when it comes to traffic congestion. Increasing number of vehicles, cause city congestion due to overstretched car parking facilities and narrow roads. In essence, the growing number of vehicles, mainly, privately owned cars in town affects management of the transport system within the city. Besides, the space available for the parking of vehicles is limited, leading to congestion on the city roads and in parking areas. This paper discusses the problem of congestion in Toronto and provides possible solutions to this problem. The solutions are drawn from three components namely: toll roads, parking tax, and fuel taxes. These parameters are useful in the management and reduction of congestion problem in the city (Miller & Wilson, 2015).
Toll roads are public or privately owned pathways that are passable for a fee. Usually, toll paid roads are constructed through public-private partnership, and as such, the government may decide to either introduce toll charges to recover the monies invested or deter motorist from using the road and create space for those willing to pay the taxes. Ideally, toll-paid roads are excludable public goods where users pay the charge if they use the road. For this reason, those unwilling to pay the tax may decide not to use the road and opt for alternative routes. Introducing toll levies on major roads in Toronto will make the roads excludable to those unable to pay the fees. In essence, only motorist with the capacity to pay the fees use the roads while channeling other motorists to toll free roads (Miller & Wilson, 2015). Since toll roads offer alternative passages from other main roads in the city, they can help in reducing the problem of congestion in Toronto. Local governments can utilize the toll fee to improve the parking areas and other roads in the city. By so doing, reduce congestion within the city (Shao et al. 2016).
Parking taxes are also important when it comes to the management and reduction of the congestion problem in Toronto. Ultimately, taxes are an important source of revenue for the government but also a deterrent against the use of certain products or services. Parking taxes can be either commercial taxes or parking space levies. Implementation of commercial taxes and parking space levy is designed to deter motorists from using privately owned cars and instead use public means thereby reducing the number of cars entering the city (Zochowska & Karon, 2016). On the contrary, funds accrued from parking levy taxes and commercial taxes can be used to expand the parking facilities and roads within Toronto and minimize congestion (Miller & Wilson, 2015). If the government decides to increase the parking fee in Toronto, few people can afford to use private cars daily to town; the numbers of vehicles in town will certainly decline. The local government; therefore, should focus on the collection of parking levies and commercial taxes in a proper and transparent way to improve the traffic conditions in town (Nellore & Hancke, 2016).
Fuel taxes are indirect charges imposed on fuel companies for the sale of petroleum products such as petrol, gasoline or diesel. The tax is imposed on all fuel products in transitting vehicles or vehicles on sale as a deterrent for buying cars or drive to town. Although fuel taxing may not be an effective way of managing the congestion problem, it can offer some viable solutions for the problem. The increase in taxes on fuel products will make the pricing of fuel go up. As the price increases, the number of people who can afford the petroleum products will reduce and this will minimize the number of private vehicles that are entering Toronto on daily basis (Zochowska & Karon, 2016). However, fuel is not a daily requirement for most motorists, which makes fuel taxes, not an effective way of handling the congestion problem. The funds raised from taxation of fuel products alongside other collected revenues can be used to improve the roads and parking facilities in Toronto city and reduce the congestion within the city. Fuel taxing can also be imposed on the car engine capacity and fuel consumption, consequently, few people will want to use vehicles that use much fuel and have larger engine sizes. The net effect is a reduction in the number of vehicles entering the town; hence, reducing the levels of congestion (Shao et al. 2016).
In conclusion, the problem of congestion can be minimized by either reducing the number of cars in town or increasing and improving the parking facilities available. Therefore, introducing fuel levies, parking taxes, and toll station charges act as deterrent against using certain roads for those who cannot afford the levies but also the proceeds may be used to improve parking and infrastructure.
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