Stockholm’s ‘Reverse’ Congestion Charge Would Pay Cyclists With Driving Fees
Under a new plan, money collected from the city’s high-traffic zones would go toward bike upgrades.
FEARGUS O’SULLIVANDec 23, 2015
Congestion charging for cars has become a standard measure of traffic control in many cities. But what about “reverse congestion charging” for cyclists?
This is an idea being proposed for Stockholm in a new report from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology. Having studied the barriers Stockholmers face in switching from cars to bikes, the institute has recommended that the city’s existing congestion charge zone be adapted to benefit people commuting by bike. Some money earned through the congestion charge (which covers most of the inner city) could be funneled back into cycling benefits—not as cash in hand, but as credits towards bike repairs or upgrades to studded tyres for winter riding. According to institute staff, the plan would do more than provide practical incentives.
“It’s all about [sending the right] signals,” project leader Teo Enlund told newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “Those who make the jump to start cycling rather than traveling by car should get a pat on the back, not a kick in the face.”