The Stockholm congestion charge was a tax levied on vehicles entering and exiting the inner city in an attempt decrease the number of trips made in private vehicles, ultimately reducing road congestion, increasing accessibility to the inner city, and improving the environment. The system design consisted of a single charging cordon around the inner city with various control points that would charge the same amount of money at all points of entry, in both directions, during both morning and afternoon peak travel periods. Vehicle movement was tracked via a combination of transponders that registered a vehicle’s passing past a control point and automatic number plate recognition technology. To accommodate an expected increase in public transit use, the city purchased new buses and increased its park-and-ride capacity a year before the congestion charge was implemented. The system was tested over a period of seven months in 2006, and following a referendum, was permanently reinstated in August of 2007. The Royal Institute of Technology conducted repeated surveys to assess public attitudes towards the congestion charge, with public support increasing from 53% after the initial trial period to roughly 70% by 2011. Traffic decreased by about 20% across the toll cordon, leading to congestion reductions of 30-50% on the arterials, and inner-city emission decreases of between 10% and 14%.
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