France Plans Congestion Pricing for Big Cities | CityLab

The charges laid out by the proposed law are fairly modest. Cities of over 100,000 residents would be permitted to charge cars €2.50 (about $2.87) each time they enter a congestion-controlled zone; larger vehicles could be charged up to €10 ($11.50). All charges would be paid online, though the exact method is not stipulated and could vary from place to place. For cities of 500,000 or more, that charge could rise to €5 ($5.74), and up to €20 ($22.94) for trucks. Compared to London’s £11.50 ($14.90) charge for cars to drive into the city core, this is fairly modest, but the cost is still high enough to act as a major deterrent for regular driving.

The draft bill contains wording that suggests these zones will be large—French media are discussing electronic toll barriers “at the entrance” to cities, rather than limited to only the knottiest streets in a city’s core. As a sweetener, France would also introduce a €400 tax bonus for commuters who cycled or car-pooled to work.

Whether local authorities would actually take up the government’s offer and introduce the charges is not fully clear. In the past, the city of Paris has rejected the idea because it risks creating a two-tier system that prices out poorer drivers without deterring the wealthy. So far the city has preferred such measures as phasing out the most polluting vehicles, an approach also adopted in France’s second city, Lyon. Paris has also introduced car-free days and closed some congested routes entirely to vehicles. National governments have until now shared this reticence on charging, focusing elsewhere, such as on (also ambitious) plans to phase out gasoline-powered cars by 2040.

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France Plans Congestion Pricing for Big Cities – CityLab.