Monday, April 9, 2012

Congestion charges in Stockholm: Did they work?

Proposals for city congestion charges continue to be put forward (even outside cities), both as a means to make the congestion disappear, reduce pollution, make city life more bearable and generate some revenue. The pioneer, London, has some mixed results according to a previous post, although I personally feel London is now much more bearable. In some cases, the benefits are much clearer, yet voters resist because of the unknown (other previous post).

Maria Börjesson, Jonas Eliasson, Muriel Hugosson and Karin Brundell-Freij update us on Stockholm, where people should be used to taxes and be easier to convince. Yet, it was not that easy to pass it by referendum, but the electorate warmed to the idea once it was in place. Also, it has reduced traffic and let to a significant (and visible, I must say) substitution to charge-exempt alternative-fuel vehicles. There seems to be a general agreement this is a success, and one needs to find a way to overcome initial resistance.

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