Cordon pricing in Stockholm and Milan contributed to transit ridership increases of 4.5 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.

Experience with variable pricing systems in Europe.

Milan,Italy; Stockholm,Sweden

Summary Information

This report covered a small-scale study that analyzed the cost-effectiveness of four variable pricing concepts: parking pricing, cordon pricing, tolling, and mileage-based user fee systems. Data collected from project reports and evaluation studies were used to examine operational issues and performance compared to the current fuel tax system. Detailed benefits data were provided for select applications.


Stockholm, Sweden Cordon Pricing System

A 2006 evaluation conducted in Stockholm, Sweden examined the impacts of a pilot cordon pricing system on congestion and mobility (TRANSEK AB, 2006). The following mobility benefits were reported:
  • Public transit ridership increased by 4.5 percent.
  • Road maintenance expenses decreased by SEK 1 million ($140,000 USD).
In 2009, a follow-up study conducted by the City of Stockholm reported that:
  • In 2008, traffic in the cordon pricing area decreased by 18 percent compared to 2005 levels.
  • To avoid driving in the inner city, traffic on ring (orbital) roads increased by 5 to 10 percent in 2008 compared to 2005.

Milan, Italy Ecopass cordon pricing system

The Ecopass program was designed to reduce vehicular emissions and congestion within the central area of Milan. Between 2007 and 2008, a one year trial was conducted to estimate system impacts on an 8.2 square kilometer area known as the restricted zone (Comune di Milano, 2009a). The cordon charge was assessed on weekdays from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM and the amount charged depended on the vehicle engine emissions levels. Free access was granted to alternative fuel vehicles and conventional automobiles that met strict European emission standards. A before and after analysis of traffic was conducted. Ten (10) days of pre-deployment traffic data were compared to average traffic conditions one year after the system was implemented. The following mobility benefits were reported:
  • Public transit ridership increased by 5.7 percent.
  • Congestion (as measured by traffic flow/capacity) decreased by 4.7 percent.
  • Congestion (as measured in vehicle-kilometers traveled) decreased by 25.1 percent.
  • Average traffic speeds in the Ecopass zone increased by 6.7 percent.


    See also:
    Transek AB. Cost-benefit analysis of the Stockholm Trial, 2006.

    Monitoraggio ECOPASS, Gennaio – Dicembre 2008, February 25, 2009, (2009a).

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NCHRP Report 689: Costs of Alternative Revenue-Generation Systems

Author: Balducci, Patrick,

Published By: Transportation Research Board

Source Date: 2011



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Benefit ID: 2011-00772