2007-01-30

Congestion tax in Portugal

Yesterday there was a sentence in an article about the recent statements from the Portugese governments on plans to become more sustainable that hinted that the government is not only positive towards congestion tax at least in the larger cities in Portugal but also started to talk with the mayors about it. Probably Lissabon and Porto.

Today came the reply in an article in Metro (national edition). On the front page it said that the municipalities do not want congestion tax. If you read the article the mayor in Porto basically says that congestion taxes are out of the question because their public transport system is lousy. His counterpart says that it is not a new question but cannot be discussed on its own. In short, they do not say no, but certainly not a strong support of the idea.

Quercus on the other hand says that congestion taxes are a bad idea as long there are cheaper ideas available such as making sure there are parking fees everywhere in the city or higher road tolls for people are alone in their cars. Putting parking meters all over Porto does not sound like a cheap deal, also Portugal has road tolls with a transponder, how do the propose to handle single drivers? In the US you can already buy inflatable "commuter buddies".

I think there is some kind of road toll for inner city traffic in Lissabon already, or at least part of the inner circular road (CRIL?). Should not be difficult to expand that.

In both cases the congestion tax could or rather should be used to improve the public transport system in the respective city!

Btw
Today I became a happy owner of two new books
State of the World 2007 Our Urban Future from the Worldwatch Institute and
100 000 000 Guinea Pigs Dangers in everyday foods, drugs and cosmetics by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink writtein in 1932 printed in 1933.

The latter I managed to get hold thanks to amazon market place, but I do not understand why there are water tight sections between countries. I didn't find it on either .co.uk nor .de only on .com ...

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8 Comments:

At January 31, 2007, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

The main problem about public transportations its the way that Portuguese people still look at their cars as a status item, not even thinking that they probably would be better with the current public transportation system. A perfect example its where i work, where, for what ive observd, about 10 or less per cent use public transportation to get here, and when they buy their houses they rarely take the transportation or even roads as main factors for their purchase.
About the public transportation system being lousy, yeap, it is, i suffered a lot in Lisbon where for years i had to spend 3 or mor hours on Bus or Subway and even boat, here at Porto, the distances are really smaller and when i moved out to a new home i considred the public tranportation as a very important issue on my decision. Subway (upway here :P) its the best one and frankly, all the others are really lousy...but...if people are going to continue to prefer their own transportation then the problem will always persist.
Pull budys are allways a good idea, i had one very similar few years ago where cars with 3 or more ppl dindt have to pay tolls on the bridges in Lisbon ;).

 
At January 31, 2007, Blogger Johan said...

so how do one go about encouraging the politicians to improve the public transport system in Portugal?

a swedish friend in portugal sees cars as transport and would actually prefer to have a old crappy car that he could mend himself, but his better half would be ashamed when going to work in such a car ...

lucky me, only 15-20 minutes walk to work!

 
At February 01, 2007, Blogger AEnima said...

well, I dont know much about car as status in the job, but the thing that I know is that parking is the key for me. No parking, bad parking, expensive parking, dangerous parking - I'll take the bus, metro, taxi, whatever! Anything but driving. I go nuts looking for parking spaces.

Lisbon transportation system is pretty good INSIDE the city but awful for commuters, like luis explained. He just forgot that in Porto he is not a commuter, because for those comming from gaia, ermesinde, maia, gondomar, etc.. it's the same terrible fate as in lisbon - frequent changes of transportation and/or hours in traffic.

What could work? Well, for porto

1 - expansion and improvement of the quality of transports. Smelly crouded buses discourage anyone to ride them. Also - have you notice there are so many underground stations in porto that if you want to go somewhere else you have no alternative? How do you get from say Estadio do Bessa to Ribeira? Have you ever experienced the bus? you need two different ones - one to foz and another from foz, and it takes about 2 hours for a 5 mile ride.

2- intercept transport stations. What good is it if you have a great train to Aveiro if, at arrival, you have - 1hour walk or terrible bus that you need to change to get to your destination.

3 - Huge FREE parking facilities outside the city at the biggest points of interception of transport stations. That way people that like driving and live far away can still drive to a closer point, park and take the transport from there... much better driving 1 mile than 20 everyday, congesting the streets, right?

After this is in place, and only after, then I think the tax would be viable. Or will get things worse than 25 abril bridge buzinao.

 
At February 01, 2007, Blogger Johan said...

the lack of bike lanes and sometimes even pedestrian walk ways is of course an deterrent for walking or biking.

and "worse", at UM literally half the campus is used for parking lots. so of course ppl are encouraged to take their cars.

there are extremely few places to park bikes. on some of the entrances there are large "hangovers" giving good cover against rain. If you put your bike there the security comes and tells you to remove the bike, but if you do the same with a motor bike it is OK!

The campus is so oddly organised with stairs all over the place that it is difficult to get around on bike, not to mention in a wheel chair.

in stockholm the underground was improved fairly recently so that one need not go in to city centre but now one can go around making many trips much shorter and less crowded.

 
At February 01, 2007, Blogger Joao Soares said...

Many mess still exists in planning mobility in our cities,Johan.
Thks for your complishments about my blog...it will be my 3st year in action,hoppely March;)
Answer to your direct question: you have to got to left and rhne clck in "stop" bottom and then you can listen my youtubes.
So, you are studying in UM,I presume?
Um abraço
Joao Soares

 
At February 01, 2007, Blogger Johan said...

@joao: ok, i had to switch to MSIE.
three years! thats the spirit :-)
i am a postdoc at UM

 
At February 01, 2007, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

The blogspot is experiencing some crashes, so i only noticed now that my 2nd comment wasnt iserted. So here it is:
Actually the Government could pay a kind of bennefit for those who used public transportation or even to those that didnt take their cars to the work place.
I used my bicycle to work when i was younger and i noticed the bike lanes that used to exist in our city to be replaced by another trafic lane, like in large Avenues and the Arrabida bridge. Its a hard city to drive using bicycles, but yeat, we are not encouraged unless by the seaside...for leisure :|.
About the crappy car comment: thats the way we are... allways trying to show off :P i dindt even care when i went work and needed to change my wet clothes because i ised a Bike ;) 80 km every day... just to get rid of those traffic jams in Lisbon... and never regret it :).
At this moment, STCP (public transportations in Porto) made an huge transformation on his system, increasing interchanging betwen lines and reducing the number of vehicules on the road. The consequence were some manifestations from people who had no alternatives and where fed up with the increasing time that they started to spend to do the same trip. Thats what the governement its really doing... that and putting parkimeters on all the streets of the major cities... just taking money and not real measures ;).

 
At February 01, 2007, Blogger Johan said...

maybe you should join the local critical mass?

http://www.critical-mass.org/
http://critical-mass.info/

Portugal
http://www.massacriticapt.net/
both in Porto and Lisboa

 

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