Mayor Wu Says Boston Not Ready For Congestion Pricing

Cars backed up on Tremont Street in Boston's Theatre District.Photo: Jarred Brognan/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston is known for its bad traffic. One option on the table to clear up the roadways — congestion pricing. But Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said it is not an option unless public transportation in the city improves.

Congestion pricing is a strategy that charges varying fees in certain areas at certain times to reduce traffic and increase the use of public transportation. Cities like San Diego, London and Milan have already adopted the practice.

City councilors were split at a City Hall hearing earlier this week, with some underlining Boston's consistent traffic problems. Other councilors said the MBTA in its current state likely couldn't handle the influx of ridership a new fee would inevitably cause.

At a press event Monday in Mattapan, Mayor Wu appeared to fall in line with the latter opinion.

"Congestion pricing, on its own, is supposed to help push people to use public transit instead of driving. But if the public transit system isn't up to where it needs to be, then that doesn't feel like a full option," she said.

Mayor Wu didn't rule out the idea once the 'T' is fully repaired. For its part, the MBTA said Tuesday that repair progress is going well as part of its Track Improvement Plan, with miles of track revamped and more than 140 slow zones scrubbed.

WBZ NewsRadio's Chaiel Schaffel (@CSchaffelWBZ) reports.

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