MOPT explores charging a fee to enter the vehicular restricted area of San Jose, either by day or time spent in the area.

(QCOSTARICA) Would you pay to enter San Jose, say a “congestion charge”? Taking a page from London (England), it is one of the proposals the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) is serious to solve the worsening congestion of the capital city.

As in London, drivers would pay a charge for driving within the vehicle restriction of San Jose, that is current in effect daily from Mondays to Fridays.

“What would be the optimal way to regulate the entry of vehicles to San Jose?” is the last question on the survey developed by engineers from the Dirección General de Ingeniería de Tránsito (General Directorate of Traffic Engineering) of the MOPT:

  1. Increase the vehicle restriction zone
  2. Increase the number of days for each license plate
  3. Keep the current vehicle restriction
  4. Charge a fixed fee for entering the restricted zone
  5. Charge a fee based on time of stay in the restricted zone

Junior Araya, direct of Ingeniería de Tránsito (Traffic Engineering), said this is the first step is to know the opinion of the people. According to the official, since Monday (October 31) more than 1,500 people have responded.

Click on image to take the survery (in Spanish)
Click on image to take the survery (in Spanish)

Araya said the data from the survey in the first step to address the alternatives, will be studied in depth. “This is the first time we have put the issue (of charging a fee) on the table… it is new to us, we want to know the opinion of citizens before implementing.”

The official clarified that the alternatives are not the only solutions to the road collapse afflicting the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), as these must go hand in hand with improvements in roads infrastructure and public transport.

The vehicular retrictios of San Jose. Red is the restriced area of the capital city.
The vehicular retrictios of San Jose. Red is the restriced area of the capital city.

The vehicular restrictions of San Jose was implemented in 2009 by presidential decree. The restrictions prohibit vehicles from entering the restricted with licenses plates ending in 1 and 2 on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays and 9 and 0 on Fridays. The fine for violating the restriction is ¢22,187 colones.

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