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Milan Mayor Introduces Congestion Charging

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It’s not fashion week in Milan, so the chatter on the street is all about transport. Photo by William Butler Yeats

Best known for haute couture and hot wheels, the northern Italian city of Milan has followed the lead of London, Stockholm and Singapore (and maybe New York) by instituting a congestion charge on cars entering the downtown area. According to the BBC, all cars – except electric and hybrid vehicles – will be charged when they pass through one of the 43 electric gates that ring the perimeter of the city. There will be a steep fine for anyone who refuses to pay: 70 euros.

Letizia Moratti, the mayor, predicts a “30% cut in pollution levels and a 10% reduction in traffic.” Revenue generated from the fees will be used to cycled paths, mass transportation, and clean burning vehicles.

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  • Is this tax applicable only during daytime hours? or just major rush hours? or is it a 24 hour tax? If it just during the most congested hours, do you think we will begin to see a major retooling of the active hours of the city from being day-centric to moving into a more full 24 hours of activity? I realize these large cities are already pretty active 24 hours a day, but I’m thinking that a daytime tax would keep shoppers, leisure activity people from entering the city excessively during the taxable hours, but might lead them to begin doing their downtown activities at new hours – nighttimes, thereby extending even more the hours of the downtowns, shopping malls, parks. If such is the case, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  • Harald

    This is great news … may somebody help me out with who has done the implementation and is doing the operation of this ECO TAX system ? appreciating your help ! thanks H.

  • Dario Hidalgo

    Great picture of someone that will probably will need to pay, or be willing to shift to very well designed “Milano” trams Tram in Milano and buses bus. It is much easier for us working in sustainable transport when trend setters (London, Milan, Paris, New York) make the right moves. Great for the “azurri”!!