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Congestion pricing is a form of tolling used to reduce traffic and the number of vehicles on the road and encourage users to carpool, travel during less busy times, use transit or use alternative routes. Congestion pricing can be implemented on a single roadway or a network of roadways within a specific area or zone. The key is that tolls must be variable based on how many cars are on the roadway. To put it simply, when more cars are on the road during congested time periods, the fee is higher.
Congestion pricing works best where there is regular, recurring and persistent congestion, such as commuter corridors or urban centers where congestion hinders access to businesses, deliveries and emergency services. Reducing congestion in urban centers also means better air quality and more reliable travel times. Implementation of congestion pricing could be permitted through a federal pilot program, but additional legislative action would be needed for implementation in Pennsylvania.