Photo: Wikipedia, CC
Pay to Play
Stockholm, Sweden, has had a congestion charge since January 2006. Cars that enter the city center must pay a congestion tax which varies depending on the time of day (from nothing at night to 20 SEK during rush hour). Now that enough time has passed to gather lots of data on the impact of the congestion charge, the Stockholm City Traffic authorities have released some interesting numbers: "The Stockholm Congestion Charging System, created by IBM (NYSE: IBM) has significantly improved access to the Swedish capital by halving queuing times on access roads to the city in the mornings. City traffic is down by 18% and CO2 emissions in the inner city have been cut by between 14 and 18 percent. "More "Green" Cars
Not only that, but the number of vehicles that qualify for "green" exemption to the congestion charge has almost tripled.
These vehicles, according to the Swedish Road Administration, are must be "equipped for propulsion with entirely or partially with electricity, or other fuel gas than liquefied petroleum gas, or with a fuel mixture that predominantly consists of alcohol."
In practice, this probably means a lot of Priuses...
Source: Wikipedia. Amounts in Swedish krona.
The amount of tax payable depends on what time of the day a motorist enters or exits the congestion tax area. There is no charge on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays or the day before public holidays, nor during nights (18:30 - 06:29), nor during the month of July. The maximum amount of tax per vehicle per day is 60 SEK (6.34 EUR, 9.85 USD). (source)
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