09 July 2007

Congestion Pricing and Telecommuting

It's good to be able to work from home. Up to now, I have been mostly apathetic about Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan. The plan will charge extra money on drivers who enter Manhattan at certain hours below 86th Street. Proponents say that it will succeed because more people will consider taking mass transportation, but opponents claim that NYC's mass transit is already overtaxed. As I don't drive during the week, or actually rarely drive into Manhattan during the week, and my work hours is 10 to 7, I don't see too many people on the train, so either way it doesn't affect me directly. However, according to a recent Metro article (http://www.readmetro.com/show/en/NewYork/20070709/1/1), part of the congestion pricing plan will include expansion of telecommuting program. Purely from my techie point of view, telecommuting is the answer to all this urban congestion. Surely not everyone will be able to handle telecommuting, such as people who need physical contacts with clients or those who are technically-challenged. For the rest of us, we should be given the choice. I already enjoy the benefit of telecommuting and would love to see it used more widely, just because I think it's a great practice to have. Of course it's easy to abuse the privilege but let's handle that case by case. Too often advances in data transfer ends up costing U.S. workers their jobs. It's time to make use of technology to benefit the U.S. workers.

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