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The charge has just gone up (and the area covered by the charge has just increased). The charge is now £8 if you pay the same day, or £10 if you pay the day after. If you don't pay, there is a hefty fine.

The congestion charge area has number plate recognition cameras. Once you pay, your registration details are entered into the computer. In most car parks in the congestion charge area there are machines where you can pay your charge when you arrive, or you can pay online or over the phone. You still have to pay the charge if you are driving through the area and out the other side.

There is no charge in the evenings and at weekends.
You don't get any sort of physical ticket or pass, as Lil' RR says, it is all done by numberplate recognition. If your numberplate goes through the area and you don't pay, then you get fined £100.

The charges apply between 7am and 6pm. There are no tollbooths or payment points, you either pay on-line, phone them, SMS them from your mobile or go to one of the shops/petrol stations that can take payment.
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Until I moved here three years ago, my entire adult life was in the state of Maine, which was very rural. A few years before I left, they added rail servcie to the city of Boston, but it was very expensive! You would pay a lot less by driving, and if there are two of you going, the savings of using your car didn't make sense compared to two tickets on the train.

If the U.S. wants to be serious about rail transport, it needs to be more afforadable. But here, near Philadelphia, there is good regional rail and I would take the train to the city rather than drive. It's possibly a little more money, but it is convenient and not MUCH more money.

In London, do you pay if there are mulitple people in your car? For example, if you get four people who carpool, do you get an exemption? Or is it that you simply have four people to share the cost of the eight pounds?
Grammar GeekIn London, do you pay if there are mulitple people in your car? For example, if you get four people who carpool, do you get an exemption? Or is it that you simply have four people to share the cost of the eight pounds?
I guess you pay for the car.

In the USA cars cost are much less than in Europe (for example gas/petrol)
What's about highways? Do you have to pay if you want to drive on highways in the USA?
Grammar Geek
they added rail servcie to the city of Boston, but it was very expensive! You would pay a lot less by driving, and if there are two of you going, the savings of using your car didn't make sense compared to two tickets on the train.

If the U.S. wants to be serious about rail transport, it needs to be more afforadable.

One of the biggest problems with transports (especially with road transport) is that the cost of the journey is not the real travel cost.

The cost of a car trip, as perceived by many drivers, equals to the money spent to buy the petrol needed. However, a share of annual costs (such as insurance & possession taxes) should be added.

Also, the real travel cost needs to take into account externalities, that is costs which are not paid by the driver but by the society, which include air pollution, noise, accidents (and their related social costs, such as hospitalisation, number of days one is absent from work ... and also death!) and congestion. As you can imagine, it is not easy to estimate these costs!

Congestion cost is evaluated by some scholars as the cost of the delay a driver causes to the other drivers (not easy to quantify, eh! Emotion: wink), and congestion charge is only one of the possible policies to prevent people from driving their car. A similar one (road pricing, that is you have to pay to drive in a motorway) is debated here in the UK, while it is widely used in Italy (but, to be honest, it doesn't work, since they're often congested!).

Congestion charge in urban areas was envisaged by a law in the UK since 2000, but no politician -- before the Mayor of London -- seemed to be willing to be unpopular and to cause drivers' protests. Following London's example, however, some other cities are considering the introduction of a congestion charge.
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You pay to drive on some roads, but not all. Usually you get a ticket when you get on the highway, and then pay when you get off, based on how far you travel. More of us are getting electronic devices that detect your car when you get on and when you get off, so you are automatically billed to your credit card, without having to have money.

The thing about the other costs is that I already have the car: I already pay insurance, I already pay the registration fees. So to my pocketbook, the cost of the trip is simply what it costs in terms of tolls, gas, and parking.

One thing that many cities are doing is having high-occupancy lanes. You can't use them unless you have at least two people in your car. (Some may be more strict and require at least three. I don't know.) Because these lanes are less congested, you can get in and out of the city faster. People who drive themselves (only) without carpooling cannot use them so they have to "pay" in terms of inconvenience, slower travel times, etc.
They are experimenting with car share lanes on the ring road around Bristol. At the moment, they mostly seem to be useful as an early warning of a out-of-view police patrol car - as that's the only time when the lorry drivers move out of them.
Grammar GeekYou pay to drive on some roads, but not all. Usually you get a ticket when you get on the highway, and then pay when you get off, based on how far you travel. More of us are getting electronic devices that detect your car when you get on and when you get off, so you are automatically billed to your credit card, without having to have money.
Like in the most countries in Europe.

By the way, what does one liter gas costs?
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Ummm... we use gallons. About (though not quite) four litres to a gallon, and we're paying about $2.30 right now. It's been going up and down quite a bit. It was almost down to $2 and it's been as high as over $3, and most recently it was about $2.15... so it's crept up quite a bit in the last two weeks.

You'll have to convert $ to Euros though.
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