Public Transit supported by Car Driving and Highway usage?

Watching this YouTube video ( on the Tokyo public transit system, the narrator points that car driving is highly discouraged through fees and tolls. The Japanese are essentially taxing the usage of cars in favor of public transportation. By making it economically inefficient to navigate by car, the Japanese may have provided a potential solution to limiting cars being driven. I truly believe a similar system will have to exist in major GLOBAL cities in order to accomodate any climate change initiatives to reduce car pollution.

Readers who are familiar with my social media feed may have remembered I had once posed a question of why CA can’t expand the current FasTrak system (or at least in the Los Angeles area) into a fee/toll per use of the highway systems. Every driver wanting to use the highway system would be required to have the fastrak transponder in order for payments be properly deducted. The fees obviously would be used to keep the highways maintained but any excess will go into supporting and expanding the woefully sparse public transportation in Los Angeles (either through light rail, subway, bus routes).

The fees should be kept at a level where people have to think about their own car usage, trip planning and alternative means of getting from point A to point B. These fees should be kept high enough either through dynamic market pricing based on usage or at a set price adjusted every 3-5 years based on the cost of maintenance. Given that potentially half a million cars use the LA highway system each day, the amount of money generated will quickly add up.

Would this system actually work? Japan shows it’s possible but their mindset from the start during the post World War 2 rebuilding was to purposely avoid car in favor of rail system. In US, it’s such a car dominated culture that switching to an alternative transportation approach would be almost impossible. Although newer generations might be more open to the alternative transportations compared to the older generations, I personally think that LA needs to commit to buidling/rebuilding their railway systems even co-opting existing freeways to build a rail system on top of it before implementing the toll usage. The current public transportation system has to be improved at least 10fold in terms of efficiency, speed, cleanliness, and punctuality.


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