- Read the Outreach Chapter (chapter 3) of the Study Report
- See information on the four rounds of public workshops conducted
- View a list of the meetings and presentations given to interested organizations over the course of the Study.
- Also, see our Myths vs. Facts page, where we clarify some common misconceptions about the Study.
Contact us by email at email@example.com.
WHAT WE HEARD FROM THE PUBLIC, AND WHAT WE DID
Click on the links to see how the study addressed these concerns, raised by the public:
1. I'm afraid congestion pricing will compromise San Francisco's economic competitiveness. People shopping downtown during the day, or coming in for dinner and a show shouldn't be discouraged from coming to SF.
2. It's not fair that drivers entering the city from the peninsula can do so for free, while those traveling from the North Bay or East Bay have to pay a bridge toll.
3. People are more comfortable with parking pricing. The objectives of congestion pricing can be achieved through parking pricing and parking policy reform.
5. Disabled drivers should not have to pay; they don't have as many options to change their travel behavior.
6. A $3/crossing fee would add up to $12 or more dollars/day because my child's school is located within the charged zone, and I need to pick-up during both the AM and PM peak period.
1. WHAT WE HEARD: I'm afraid congestion pricing will compromise San Francisco's economic competitiveness. People shopping downtown during the day, or coming in for dinner and a show shouldn't be discouraged from coming to SF.
WHAT WE DID: In December 2008 and April 2009, the Study Team conducted a survey of 1390 visitors to San Francisco’s downtown areas to understand how people travel to downtown businesses, how often they travel and how much they spend. Though drivers do in fact spend more when they visit these retail areas, transit riders and pedestrians visit more frequently so over the course of a month, they spend slightly more than drivers do. (See more information on this survey.) In addition, the focus on peak-period travel helps avoid impacts on recreational or retail activities.
The Study Team also conducted an economic evaluation of the Northeast Cordon scenario to understand potential impacts on businesses and employment growth. Analysis found a minimal impact on potential employment growth, about 1% when mitigated with an influx of capital for startup improvements, reinvesting funds in transportation projects and services to make the charging area even more attractive, and contributing to new and ongoing programs for workers (such as on-site day care or flextime work programs).
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Each pilot scenario was developed in direct response to public feedback. The Modified Northeast Cordon pilot, where drivers are only charged traveling in the outbound direction in the PM peak period, was designed to limit impacts to entertainment and retail destinations downtown.
In addition to the initial findings of the economic evaluation, the analysis shows that drivers are likely to shift the time of day they travel, the mode or method of travel, or the route of travel. With the reinvestment of funds in transportation improvements, the data show a negligible to slightly positive change in the total number of trips made to the charged area.
WHAT WE DID: The study considers a discount policy to provide for a $1 fee rebate for drivers who pay a bridge toll, among others.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Each pilot scenario was developed in direct response to public feedback. The Southern Gateway pilot scenario is one way to evaluate regional equity by only charging crossings between San Francisco and San Mateo counties, with reinvested improvements focused in that corridor. However, because about 70% of those who drive to the greater downtown area are San Francisco residents (see chart at right), this scenario would not reduce congestion in the downtown areas as well as the Northeast Cordon scenarios.
WHAT WE DID: We've analyzed several scenarios that increase parking rates downtown. Our preliminary analysis has shown that similar congestion reduction goals can be achieved with both parking pricing and congestion pricing, but only if private parking spaces are priced, in addition to public on- and off-street spaces.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The policy changes necessary to affect both private and public parking prices may prove institutionally more challenging than those necessary to implement congestion pricing. However, if the study proceeds into an environmental phase, parking pricing will be one alternative considered in this analysis.
WHAT WE DID: One of the discounts the Study recommends is a 50% discount for low-income drivers. This discount might also be developed as a means-based fare for transit, to make transit a more affordable option for low-income travelers.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Most low-income peak-period travelers are already taking transit. In fact, of low-income travelers in the peak-period, just 15% are drivers (those earning under $50K/year). Moreover, just 5% of peak-period travelers are low-income drivers (see chart at right).
WHAT WE DID: The Study recommends a 50% discount for disabled drivers. Documentation of an inability to take public transit would be required.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Many people, including those who are disabled, also expressed the concern that disabled drivers (1) are not necessarily without the financial means to pay a fee and (2) also contribute to congestion conditions if they choose to drive. We recognize the perception of abuse of the blue placard for disabled drivers, and consulted our agency partners for their lessons on addressing this issue. Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, for example, requires documentation of one's inability to take transit before drivers can receive this discount.
WHAT WE DID: The Study recommends a $6 daily cap to not unfairly burden those needing to make multiple trips during peak periods, such as families or businesses making deliveries.