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highway reform

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Issue:


Canada's highway systems are in need of improvement.

Position:


1.All federal infrastructure funding shall be based on their merits regarding green transportation policy goals and regions will be required to conduct long term (100 year) planning to prioritize their highway funding requirements.

2. The green party supoports a shift to user pay systems for highway use and associated fees. Specifically the Green party supports the implementation of new technology solutions for Pay as You Drive pricing of highway use, with GPS-based device in cars that would transmit location information to a central computer, which would calculate a variety of driving-related expenses based on actual usage, location, and time of use.

Argument:




"Even the insurance industry, known for its reluctance to embrace changes to pricing structures, is experimenting with the idea. UK-based Norwich Union started a pilot Pay As You Drive program in August with 5,000 of its customers. The program measures where and when a driver is on the road, and those driving at less congested (and less dangerous) times will pay less in insurance. "


"Through his Toronto company, Applied Location, Grush is proposing “location-based pricing.” That is, installing a GPS-based device in cars that would transmit location information to a central computer, which would calculate a variety of driving-related expenses based on actual usage. Fully implemented, it could replace the gas taxes, property taxes and tolls currently imposed to pay for roads and driving-related costs.

But the real gem of the system, according to Grush, is how it would change driving habits. Of the way we drive now, he says, “the best way to get the most out of your investment in your car is to drive as much as possible.” At issue is the fact that most car-related expenses are flat fees paid monthly or annually regardless of how much the vehicle is driven. It’s a system that Grush says encourages people to drive rather than walk, cycle or take public transit. "
From:
http://www.thismagazine.ca/issues/2004/11/roadless.php

Argument: Pay as You Drive system

Privacy issues are a legitimate conscern, however if they have been overcome with cell phones, an extremely well saturated technology, which has the ability not only to track your every position but store your conversations, then it should not be difficult to ensure that security measures prevent the illegal storage and use of a Pay as You Drive system.

The canadian company working on this has obviously started thinking about these security issues:

"Maximize privacy assurance.  We make eavesdropping, data-theft, and location disclosure of individual vehicle extremely difficult.  Only a concerted and complex effort by three independent parties, each acting illegally, can comprise privacy.  The only exception is police demand for criminal suspicion. "

http://radio.weblogs.com/0118137/stories/2003/11/18/whatAppliedLocationsSoftwareEnables.html

However, whether we want to introduce this as part of a transport plank, is really rather a question of the public's general perception of such a technology.

Counter Argument:


Argument: Pay as You Drive system

Regarding ‘pay as your drive’ is there not some sort of privacy issue here? It seems a little big brother to me.

Argument: Pay as You Drive system

I like the idea of giving an incentive to people to change their driving habits.
However, I too am concerned about confidentiality and the feeling of
being policed.

A simpler way may be to pay a fee based on the meter (kilometers driven
per month) which is already in every car. This does not imply a loss of
privacy (in term of being on the radar of a computer: where I am at
each instant).

In any case, I would recommend waiting for the result of the trial in
UK before considering this as a policy.




Return to transportation subcommittee page.