Cordon pricing contributed to a 14 percent reduction in climate gases in Stockholm and a 14 percent reduction in airborne particulate matter in Milan.

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

In 2006 an evaluation study conducted in Stockholm examined the impacts of a pilot cordon pricing system on congestion and vehicle emissions (TRANSEK AB, 2006). The following key findings were reported:
  • Vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT) declined by 2.8 percent.
  • Fuel tax revenues decreased by SEK 53 million ($7.7 million USD). Fuel prices in Sweden were roughly constant during this period.
  • Vehicle emissions of climate gases including Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the county of Stockholm were estimated to have declined by 2.7 percent.
  • Vehicle emissions of climate gases in the central area of Stockholm were estimated to have decreased by 14 percent.
A follow-up study conducted by the City of Stockholm in 2009 found that:
  • In 2008, traffic in the cordon area decreased by 18 percent compared to 2005 levels.
  • The number of registered alternative-fuel vehicles, which are exempt from congestion tolls, increased from 5 percent of the total vehicle fleet in 2006 to 14 percent in 2008.

Milan, Italy Ecopass Cordon Pricing System

In Milan, the Ecopass program was designed to reduce vehicular emissions and congestion within the urban center of Milan. In 2008, a one year trail was conducted and congestion charges were assessed within an 8.2 square kilometer area (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’s 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 key findings were reported:
  • Traffic levels in the Ecopass area decreased 14.4 percent.
  • Traffic levels outside the Ecopass area decreased 3.4 percent.
  • Particulate matter in the Ecopass zone decreased 14 percent.
  • Nitrous oxide emissions in the Ecopass zone decreased 11 percent.
  • CO2 emissions in the Ecopass zone decreased 9 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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Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


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Benefit ID: 2011-00774