A new analysis of Göteborg’s congestion pricing suggests that the program has cut traffic congestion and contributed to more commuters taking public transport.

The authors of the analysis, Maria Börjesson and Ida Kristoffersson, say that the examples of Göteborg and the Swedish capital Stockholm prove the advantages of road pricing for cities of varying size and density.

Although Göteborg is Sweden’s second-largest city with over 500 000 inhabitants, the level of traffic congestion is much lower than in Stockholm. Göteborg also has a lower population density and wider job distribution, contributing to this effect.

However, traffic levels declined by 12 per cent on average during weekday hours when the congestion pricing was in effect, and commuters’ travel times also declined on all road types.

Additionally, according to a survey of 3 000 Göteborg residents, the number of work journeys by car fell by 9 per cent while work journeys by public transport jumped by 24 per cent.

The congestion charge in Göteborg has also become more popular with time. Public support for the measure in spring 2013 was only at 30 per cent, rising to 55 per cent in late 2014. 

Original author: Lewis Macdonald