6/21/2005UK: Congestion Charge Proposed for Mass Transit
A new rush hour tax on UK train travel may be imposed to deal with consequence of the per-mile tax on driving.
As the UK government moves toward a per-mile tax on driving to encourage motorists to give up their automobiles in favor of public transportation, officials are now proposing the first "congestion charge" for mass transit. The Association of Train Operating Companies is expected to release a ten-year strategy today that includes the introduction of an electronic smart payment card that allows increased charges for train travel during peak times.
The new cards would replace the current flat-rate ticket prices with "congestion pricing" that increases the cost of travel during peak rush hour periods. Proponents maintain the change is required to cope with the projected 28 percent increase in rail travel as the per-mile driving tax has its effect.
Bob Crow, leader of the biggest rail union the RMT, said: 'This is another classic bit of upside-down logic from a bunch of privateers whose main function is to remove large sums of taxpayers'and passengers' cash from the railway industry.'Source: Rush-hour congestion charge for trains (Daily Mail (UK), 6/21/2005)
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