Q COSTA RICA – Drivers would be charged between ¢200 and ¢250 daily if the congestion toll of downtown San José is implemented, as suggested by the Ministro de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT), Luis Amador.
The collected toll would help fund the US$350 million dollar electric train project proposed by President Rodrigo Chaves.
According to Amador, this would be a long-term goal that needs to be approved by Congress.
“This is something that must be developed in the future. It is not something immediate, but it has to be approved first in Congress and then it has to be implemented from a technological point of view,” Amador said.
In principle, the congestion toll would allow the State to collect a kind of toll from drivers entering San José’s Circunvalación ring.
The government of Rodrigo Chaves’ congestion toll would be the final impetus for developing a sustainable mobility system, leading private vehicle owners to consider the advantages of alternative methods such as walking, cycling, using electric trains, and buses, or a combination of these options, over using a car.
Experts in sustainable mobility and legislator have expressed concern that the plan to cut down on the congestion in the capital may only become a new way of collecting taxes without achieving its intended goal.
The government must first formulate a definite plan for alternative methods to encourage drivers to not use their cars. Currently, this plan is absent.
“Both fronts must be worked on at the same time: the congestion toll (disincentive) and the systematic improvement of public transport (incentive).
“What happens is that the second is much more complex than the first. What we should demand as citizens is not that the MOPT refrain from imposing a congestion toll, but that, together with the charge, immediately come bus lanes in strategic corridors, safe pedestrian crossings on all streets, connective and functional cycling infrastructure,” said David Góme z, consultant in Sustainable Mobility.