Another post on the true costs of Motordom:
.
True Cost of Driving
 .

A quick scan might miss this:

 …evidence from road-pricing experiments is that the revenue gathered from tolled lanes often fails to cover the costs of even collecting the tolls and operating the toll-collection system—which means they never come close to paying for the roadway. (To be sure, tolling improves the efficiency of use of the freeway—traffic flows more smoothly, capacity is increased—but the tolls don’t pay for constructing, or even maintaining, the pavement). But again, the highly visible toll-collection mechanism, like the very visible gas tax, creates the illusion that user fees are paying the cost of the system.

 .
The takeaway: Tolls might not cover administrative costs.   (That should be where they start.)
.
UPDATE: National coverage of a new report out on road pricing from “Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.”

Recognizing that traffic was one of the hottest political topics, the newly elected federal Liberals ran on a platform that included the promise of major infrastructure spending. Their plan includes billions for transit, but this report warns that such improvements will not be enough.

“On its own, more public transit may not reduce traffic congestion in the long run because it does not solve the key incentive problem,” argues the report from the Ecofiscal Commission, whose advisory board includes figures as diverse as Paul Martin, Preston Manning and Bob Rae. “Without addressing the fundamental issue of misaligned incentives around free access to roads, traffic congestion in Canadian cities will only get worse.”

.

Five “congestion pricing” models looked at in the study:

Single-entity pricing: The most common form of pricing, toll roads, bridges or tunnels charge a fee to use a specific piece of infrastructure. (Example: Highway 407 in Ontario)

High-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes: Designating a new or existing highway lane for multi-occupant vehicles only, which pay a fee for the privilege of travelling in a less congested lane. (Example: Minnesota)

Zone-based pricing: Charging a fee to use designated roads within a geographic zone, typically major city core areas. (Examples: Stockholm, London, Milan, Singapore)

Distance-travelled charges: Typically fees are levied on all vehicles on all roads in a given region, varying in cost depending on distance, time, direction and location. (Example: Oregon pilot projects)

Parking pricing: Variable parking pricing structures depending on time, location and mode of transport (Examples: San Francisco, Calgary)

.

Anatomy

.
Not a bad graphic of the issues which face the region – but it also falls for the usual bull on the cost of congestion.  The assumption behind that billion-dollar estimate is that vehicles should be able to move in free-flowing traffic at the posted speed limit at all times, in all places – and anything slower constitutes congestion.  The only way that can happen is if you destroy the idea of the city itself: a place where people and uses come together to interact and exchange.  That’s what’s valuable – not just the transportation system which feeds it.  Which is why vibrant and economically prosperous cities are crowded places – and that’s another word for congestion.