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Caught in Traffic: Road Congestion in Metro Vancouver and its Impact on Commercial Goods Movement

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Congestion is a costly burden for the trucking industry, supply chains, and society as a whole. Despite the significant adverse effects of these costs on consumer prices, productivity, human health, and the environment, congestion’s impacts on the movement of commercial goods is an understudied topic in Metro Vancouver. To help fill this void, this study investigates the costs of congestion for commercial goods movement. Original estimates conclude that the costs for the region in 2013 are between $400 million and $2 billion. In the short-term, this study recommends that local and regional governments establish a pilot program to encourage and facilitate night-time deliveries. To address the systemic long-term issues of road congestion, local, regional, and provincial governments should collaboratively implement time-of-day tolls on the region’s tunnels and bridges. Ultimately, these options will lower the costs of congestion and increase the reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of goods movement in Metro Vancouver.
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