Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Graduated Tolls

Always an empty lane...for a price.
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Variable lane pricing for tollbooths at bridges, tunnels, and turnpikes. The idea is that the rightmost lane charges, say, 50 cents, the next lane a dollar, the next two dollars, and so forth. Thus there will always be a lane where you don't have to queue, though it might be expensive. If you can't afford a big toll, you wait in the cheap line with the rest of the skinflints. Seems like a big advantage: you never need wait if you want to pay, not much more of a penalty for those who can't, and possibly much more revenue for the toll authority.

(Idea from a FOAF of rmutt's, but good enough to post!)
rmutt, Jan 18 2001

Bidding for Greens http://www.halfbake...ding_20for_20greens
Related idea. Some of the annotations deal with auctioning off/selling the right to drive in certain lanes. [Monkfish, Jan 18 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Paris Metro Pricing http://www.research...o/doc/networks.html
Same idea, generalized and worked out for network service pricing (click on the links for papers under "Paris Metro Pricing") [mab, Jan 18 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       Might also have different tools for different times of day to even out the traffic a little!
lee, Jan 18 2001
  

       And then there's the $1048576 lane, where they pick your car up and airlift you to the destination.   

       I've heard a similar concept with restrooms. (I could swear it was *here*, but I can't find the idea or annotation.) The assumption was that more expensive stalls would be less used and consequently cleaner.
jutta, Jan 19 2001
  

       I believe this is well Baked in some areas.
egnor, Jan 19 2001
  

       Which?   

       I don't doubt you; but I'd be interested to know.
Monkfish, Jan 19 2001
  

       Postal services? If you're willing to stretch a point almost any item for which there are a range of prices / quality.
AndyKnott, Jan 19 2001
  

       jutta -- I remember that idea... it was here.   

       As for graduated tolls, though, I can't think of a better way to enrage the proletariat! Toll bridges are a bit suspicious to begin with; income taxes, which are already graduated, are used for these public works projects. Toll bridges are already double-dipping into the taxpayers' pockets; skewing access to the wealthy would just be too much!
danrue, Jan 19 2001
  

       Very funny...I can picture this lane completely filled with all the rich, non-family, non-soccer-team-coaching, road hogs that zip around my work neighborhood in their Navigator's, Escalades, Range Rovers etc. I'm not against SUV's, I just wonder how many people actually WANT these things and aren't simply trophy-acquiring robots who feel they must have what has now become the new "Miata".
iuvare, Jan 20 2001
  

       This is another example of "Paris Metro Pricing" - charging different prices for the same service and letting the market regulate the load such that the customers who pay more get the best service. (The Paris metro used to have first and second class cars; the only difference was the price).   

       The term was coined and applied to network pricing models by Andrew Odlyzko at AT&T labs; see the link at left.
mab, Jan 21 2001
  

       I don't like the idea of only rich being able to get where they're going on time while the 'finacially challenged' like myself would have to be stuck in rush hour with a bunch of other ticked-off poor people. I would hate to be stuck in a five mile long line of cars waiting to *pay money* while the better offs fly buy in the $10 lane smirking and waving their middle fingers out the back window. (Okay, so not all rich people are like that... but I bet on the inside they wish they could do it and not feel bad.)
ichinichi, Jun 30 2001
  

       //not much more of a penalty for those who can't//   

       only if you build new lanes for the higher tolls. otherwise you are taking lanes from general use, thus slowing the majority of cars down. this would be better used temporarily as a way of offsetting the cost of widening schemes. that way a bad road only gets a bit better until the new bit is paid for and opened for everyone.
stilgar, Jul 09 2004
  

       Postgrad ogres?
bristolz, Jul 09 2004
  

       Drivers would cheat by riding the $500 toll lanes all the way to the end and then merging into the cheaper ones. It would cause a big, honking logjam.
phundug, Jul 09 2004
  

       But most drivers would still be stuck in a queue! Better just to charge a high enough price to avoid congestion on ALL lanes and provide frequent buses for those who are priced out.   

       Any traffic concept that includes congestion by design is bad. I don't condone inefficiency. So a fishbone from me, sorry.
kinemojo, Sep 05 2005
  

       I just read this as graduated trolls, and thought of the crap on "Squat".
blissmiss, Sep 05 2005
  

       Funnily enough, so did I. Maybe it's a mentality thing.
hidden truths, Sep 07 2005
  

       Same here... maybe we're all mental.
david_scothern, Sep 08 2005
  
      
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