Rationing by price does make sense you know

But it was a generous decision by Chinese politicians to grant free road travel, by suspending motorway tolls, that saw hundreds of thousands of drivers spend the first day of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sunday in gridlock.

Long tailbacks were reported across the country, with 24 major motorways in 16 provinces effectively transformed into enormous parking lots as 86 million people took to the roads, a 13 per cent increase on last year.

It was the first time in a decade that China\’s motorways had been toll-free and many families were keen to take advantage of the largesse to get away during the eight-day national holiday.


4 thoughts on “Rationing by price does make sense you know”

  1. What we need is an agency to ration the free use of the highways.

    Applications to be made in person at one of the 10,000 offices to be set up all over China up to 6 weeks in advance of travel (you have to make things easy for the people).

    Offices will be manned 24 hours a day by 5 inspectors each shift and hardship payments will be made for when they work nights.

    There will be a yet to be defined administrative fee.

    A body of Inspectors equipped with helicopters (just in case of accidents or highly unlikely but possible traffic jams) will be set up to check that motorists have the adequate permit for the day, road and hour of travel.

    Drivers who break the terms will have their cars impounded and auctioned.

    Done and dusted. Who said I can’t manage a problem?

    Tolls? Bah, so twentieth century.

  2. @bilbaoboy: I thought the article was about China.

    You’re describing the solution to every “problem” in the UK!

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    It is most likely that the Chinese government just did not want to make their workers work over the holiday. So they gave the people who collected the tolls time off.

    Usually the Chinese government can be relied on to always pick a market-oriented solution. As with their Ministry in charge of the environment which proposed selling licences to shoot some endangered animals to raise money to look after the rest (and of course pay for all their mistresses and Audis and so on).

  4. SMFS: no, that’s distinctly unlikely, given the Chinese government’s attitude to grunt-level workers (broadly “fuck them”).

    Far more likely that some apparatchik whose son had driven his Mercedes over a peasant (or similar such scandal) thought that this would be a wizard wheeze to win back popularity.

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