The San Francisco County Transportation Authority will receive $1.3 million in federal and local funding to study how to implement a program that would charge drivers entering downtown during business hours, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The one-to-two-year study will look into “congestion charging” schemes similar to London’s, which has reduced downtown traffic congestion by about 30 percent and vehicle emissions by about 12 percent, according to a spokesman for Transport for London.
The London program has netted the government £200,000 million, or $350 million since it was implemented three years ago. These additional funds could be used for San Francisco public transportation, the Chronicle reports.
The transportation authority will study whether fees could be fixed or vary by location or hour, and whether include discounts for residents or hybrid vehicles or direction of travel.
London motorists must pay a $14 congestion charge if they enter the city from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can pay by telephone, on the Web, at designated stores, by mail and by text message. A system of 203 cameras monitors vehicles.
A system in San Francisco could use a similar system or one that uses tags (similar to toll-road tags) that would automatically pay the charge.