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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Events Guide: Mobility Pricing Conference

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WHAT: Mobility Pricing Conference
WHEN: Thursday, February 3, 2011
WHERE: The Metropolitan Hotel, 108 Chestnut Street

An interesting group of academics, researchers and transportation experts have been assembled by Transport Futures for what promises to be a fascinating discussion on congestion pricing and other methods of managing travel demands in the region.

International research and experience has demonstrated that, like road pricing, these fiscal measures can be set by government in order to modify driver behaviour, raise earmarked revenue for transportation infrastructure and assist in making bureaucracies more efficient, transparent and accountable to the public. These worthy objectives are not easy to achieve and lead to several difficult questions:

Is the current tax generation system more equitable than paying for government services when they are consumed (as is considered normal when purchasing private goods and services)?

Why do Canadians view user fees as inequitable or as a double tax – be it for transportation, health, education or other government services?

How can parking fees, transit fares, gas taxes and road tolls be established to ensure equity and efficiency? How do they compare with other taxes that are not directly linked to transportation (e.g. regional sales taxes, income tax)?

What role does politics play when setting mobility prices?

We will answer these questions — and many more — with the assistance of the following international and national experts:

Dr. Lisa Schweitzer, School of Policy, Planning, & Development, University of Southern California
Mr. Bruno Jacques, Transport Canada
Dr. David King, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Columbia University
Dr. Keith Neuman, Environics Research Group Ltd.
Dr. Roger von Haefen, Center for Environmental & Resource Economic Policy, North Carolina State University
Professor Harry Kitchen, Department of Economics, Trent University
Dr. Jeff Casello, School of Planning & Department of Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo
Mr. Peter Mills, Perrin Thorau & Associates
Mr. Ralph Bond, BA Consulting Group
Dr. Brendon Hemily, Hemily & Associates

photo by Aubrey Arenas



  1. It’s too bad that the registration fees are fairly steep: $345 for students or $395 for NGOs/Academic faculty/individuals. That said, these things don’t finance themselves and it’s good to see a very important discussion taking place. Hopefully there will be some media there.

  2. I agree with Ian. I would love to go, but my budget does not extend to shelling out $400.

    Perhaps this sort of event could have “rush” seats like theatres.

  3. A belated thanks to Jake for posting info related to the Transport Futures Mobility Pricing Conference — and to Ian and Kevin for recognizing that full day conferences featuring 10 experts (8 from out of town) speaking to a diverse range of stakeholders in a good hotel space with great AV and excellent food is not free. However, we do have a sliding scale with early bird, regular and late bird fees — the latter registration was only in effect from Feb. 1-3. Student and NGO early bird was $170 and $225 respectively. I don’t think we’ll ever have “rush seats” since, like all events, things are just too busy in the last days before the conference takes place — we’d prefer delegates take advantage of the better price well in advance of the event date. FYI: presentations can be accessed at and media that came out of the event (to date) can be seen at — we hope that, in the future, Spacing will cover what we’re doing as they did back in 2008!