Stockholm Voters OK Congestion Charging

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From this morning's International Herald Tribune:

Near-complete results for the Sunday referendum showed that 51.7 percent of Stockholm voters approved the traffic toll, while 45.6 percent voted against it.

The congestion fee was contested when city officials introduced it in a seven-month trial that ran between January and July.

Public opinion swung in favor of the charges after studies showed that weekday traffic on average dropped 20 percent during the trial, while pollution decreased 9-14 percent.

Depending on the time of day, Stockholm drivers paid 10 kronor and 20 kronor, or about €1-€2 (US$1.30 - US$2.50) when they entered or exited the city's center. The toll was in effect from 6:30 a.m. to 6:29 p.m. every weekday, with no fees on weekends, holidays or at night.

A city analysis showed permanent congestion fees would bring a net profit of nearly 500 million kronor (€54 million; US$69 million) a year - money that would be spent on improving public transportation and better roads.

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