Severe congestion and underfunded public transportation systems in the Washington, D.C. region and nationwide call for a more sustainable way of pricing transportation. The recent Brookings report, “Road-use Pricing: How Would You Like to Spend Less Time in Traffic?” (Orr & Rivlin, 2009), proposes replacing state gas taxes with regional road-use pricing that takes into account the effects of vehicle travel while simultaneously providing incentives to reduce traffic congestion and pollution and improve public transportation.
To help inform the policy debate on transportation financing and traffic management, Greater Washington Research at Brookings hosted a roundtable bringing together experts from the policy, planning, advocacy, and development community. Roundtable participants included Ron Kirby, director of the Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth; Bob Grow, senior director for Regional Government Relations at the Greater Washington Board of Trade; and Patrick DeCorla-Souza, program manager for the Federal Highway Administration.
Alice Rivlin, senior fellow and director of the Greater Washington Research Program at Brookings, and Benjamin Orr, research analyst for the Greater Washington Research Program at Brookings, facilitated the conversation.