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Stockholm’s congestion charge reduced car traffic by 20%

Stockholm has a congestion charge that is used to reduce traffic volumes in the center of the city. Toronto does not. We looked at it, actually fairly recently, but then we lost our nerve.

Stockholm’s congestion charge was first implemented on a trial basis starting in January 2006. Trials and pilots have become a common way to actually create positive change. Otherwise the status quo bias may simply be too strong.

When Stockholm started the trial back in 2006, public support was very low. Maybe 30%. But as soon as it was implemented, car trips dropped overnight by 20%. Once people saw the benefits, support grew – hitting around 70% by 2011.

Here is a brief Street Films video with Stockholm’s Director of Transport, Jonas Eliasson, talking about their experience with congestion pricing. If you can’t see the video below, click here.

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