The King County Journal reported yesterday that State Rep. Fred Jarrett, the No. 2 Republican on the House transportation committee, proposed to the state transportation commission that Washington should auction off access to its proposed High-Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes on eBay. “If we use the eBay bid process,” Jarrett said, “we’ll find people are willing to pay a significant amount of money to get through a congested corridor.” The state would let the market decide an acceptable price for access to traffic-free HOT lanes instead of setting a price that could either discourage or encourage too many single-occupancy users to use the restricted lanes.
Discovery Institute is pleased to note that this auction suggestion was first aired (to our knowledge) more than a month ago – May 21 – in the second of our series of transportation forums, which featured local transportation analyst and Discovery Senior Fellow John Niles. And the idea came from none other than State Rep. Jarrett, who was in attendance. It wasn’t our idea, but we’re happy that our supporters in the private and public sector have the opportunity to hear new and innovative ideas before they get aired in public.
For more creative ideas to address transportation challenges, visit the Cascadia Project website.