Leave it to my friends in the Netherlands, where by some accounts residents have the highest average commuting time in Europe. Now couple this with their reputation for receptivity to environmental innovation, and you have a government looking for novel ways to solve both problems in tandem. From this was born a plan to tax drivers by the miles driven along with the efficiency of the vehicle used. However the voting public sent a clear message by removing the administration for pondering this.
Yet, while this initial plan of taxing by the prior regime has been shelved by the newly elected government, it surely has not been forgotten. As the new government plan is to hook up drivers to the Internet wirelessly with a black box with a built in GPS unit, with software that tabulates a charge for each car trip by using a mileage-based formula which also factors in a car’s fuel efficiency, the time of day and the route taken. As driving on busier thoroughfares costs more than driving on less-traveled roads as this action adds to the overall congestion. Then at the end of each month, the vehicle’s owner would receive a bill detailing times traveled along with a bill for cost of using the roadways, much like a cell phone or water bill.
So what will this mean for the rest of the world, who is watching this as they face these same problems? As here in America there is a lot of discussions as the aged roadway infrastructure originates from the 1950s and the question today is what to do about it. As being the land of the “automobile”, the question is do we need more? As in the age of the Internet, fewer and fewer people are making a daily commute which takes them outside of their home. So in the 60’s the saying was make love not war, so here in 2011 should it be “make the information superhighway faster and not our roads”?
As its clear the world will have to reevaluate value of personal transportation, as while it will still be a fixture for some time to come. It’s clear that its paradigm is heading for change in the coming years as it no longer holds the same value proposition that it once did in building the social affluence models we operate under still today…