Public may very well welcome toll hikes at peak periods

I’m puzzled by the conclusion in your article about the Barr Foundation/Transportation for Massachusetts poll that strong congestion pricing — raising tolls during peak periods — will be a “tough sell” (“Poll shows Mass. voters don’t want higher rush-hour tolls,” Metro, Feb. 27). Without any significant public education or any elected official championing congestion pricing, nearly 40 percent of poll respondents already support raising tolls. In addition, more than 60 percent support some sort of time-of-day difference.

Given the history in cities that have embraced congestion pricing after initial public reluctance, that’s a fantastic starting position. With active leadership from the mayor and governor (or the next governor), and a meaningful trial implementation, we should fully expect public enthusiasm for congestion pricing and its benefits: faster travel times, fewer cars on city streets, increased funding for public transit, reduced carbon emissions, and increased safety. Congestion pricing is imperative. The public will come around.

Sean Roche

Newton Centre