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Morning commute on a busy Manhattan street. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

How much cities should charge vehicles to drive on city streets and who should have to pay is the center of political debates, Chris Teale writes for Smart Cities Dive.

Driving the news: New York City is about to become the first to charge Manhattan drivers a congestion toll. Fees collected would fund public transit and infrastructure improvements.

Our thought bubble: The whole story is worth a read, but the disconnect in public opinion is what stuck out most.

  • A poll by HNTB found 70% of Americans are willing to pay higher tolls to support infrastructure investments.
  • But a recent poll by Quinnipiac University found NYC voters oppose congestion pricing by 13%, even though 62% were displeased with the city's subway service.
  • In Washington, D.C., a Washington Post/George Mason University survey found 63% of D.C.-area residents oppose congestion pricing.

The bottom line: "[C]ity leaders likely need to do more to show people the benefits of congestion pricing," Teale wrote.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Ina Fried, author of Login
28 mins ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.