Friday Transportation Seminar: A New Approach to Transportation Pricing: Lessons from the POEM Project

Friday, December 3, 2021, 11:30am to 12:30pm PST
Shoshana Cohen and Emma Sagor, PBOT
Free and open to the public
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online at 11:30 AM. All presentations are recorded and shared on the event page afterwards.



In October 2021, Portland City Council accepted the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility (POEM) report. This was the culmination of 18 months of work by the POEM Task Force, a group of 19 volunteer community members who explored whether pricing tools—or charges related to driving or using road space—could be used to improve mobility, reduce climate impact, and make our transportation system more equitable. More information is available at

At this seminar, POEM Project Managers Shoshana Cohen and Emma Sagor from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will share how this project took on the topic of “congestion pricing” from a new angle, putting equity at the forefront. They will review the framework used by the Task Force to evaluate a range of pricing tools—from parking prices to fees on private for-hire or delivery trips to bigger scale strategies like tolling and cordons—and the recommendations the group made to City Council, as well as what work will come next.


  • How the POEM Community Task Force examined five different types of transportation pricing tools (parking pricing, fees on vehicle-based commercial services, highway tolling, cordon pricing and road usage charges) using an “equitable mobility framework.”
  • Why the POEM Community Task Force concluded that pricing can improve mobility, reduce climate impact, and make our transportation system more equitable, but only if designed with intention, and what policy guidelines they recommend the City follow moving forward.
  • What specific nearer-term pricing strategies and ideas seem to show the most promise to the POEM Community Task Force.


Shoshana Cohen, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Shoshana Cohen works for the Portland Bureau of Transportation where she manages the Intergovernmental Affairs team in the Office of the Director. She helps to advance PBOT’s state, federal and regional priorities and works on special initiatives related to top bureau goals. Shoshana has overseen PBOT’s congestion pricing efforts for four years and served as the co-project manager for the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility Task Force for the last two years. She has a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy, and over 20 years of experience ranging from policy research to non-profit management. 


Emma Sagor, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Emma Sagor leads the Strategic Performance team for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), where she focuses on tracking and analyzing data on how the bureau is advancing its strategic priorities of equity, safety, climate, mobility and asset management. Prior to this, she served for two years as the City of Portland’s Climate Advisor through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. As part of her Climate Challenge responsibilities, she co-managed the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility project, and supported other critical climate efforts including the Rose Lane Project. She has a Masters Degree in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and more than 10 years’ experience working in the academic, private and public sectors.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly updates.

Photo by GarysFRP/iStock

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.