FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Toll the Solos?

Raising money from Transmission Gully

By Roger Childs

Back in the late 1990s we found a cheap way to get from Oakland to San Francisco. In fact it cost nothing! We lined up under a freeway, got in the back seat of a businessman’s car and headed for the Bay Bridge.

By having us on board the driver paid no bridge toll and went quickly through the carpooling lane, while solo drivers were queuing in the other 15! lanes.

He dropped us at Embarcadero in SF and we had both been part of a win-win experience.

Targeted olling makes sense

Tolled highways are common in scores of countries, and New Zealand has had tolls on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Lyttelton Tunnel and the Tauranga Eastern Link bypass.

If tolling is introduced on the new Transmission Gully highway between Kapiti and Wellington after it opens in 2020, car-poolers should be able to go free while the solo drivers should be stung.

The advantages, apart from raising money, would be

  • carpooling would become more popular
  • there would be fewer vehicles clogging the Wellington streets
  • drivers who would otherwise be heading in solo might consider taking the train.

New train timetables with more services which will be operating from mid month, should make the public transport option more attractive.







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