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Congestion Pricing Case Studies 165 12. Stockholm Congestion Tax The City of Stockholm (or Stockholm Municipality) is one of 26 municipalities in the County of Stockholm. The county is home to about 2 million of Sweden's 9.3 million inhabitants and is also referred to as Greater Stockholm--the city's overall metropolitan region. The municipality itself has a population of about 830,000. Including the urbanized, surrounding 10 municipalities, the population is about 1.25 million. To reduce congestion in Stockholm and improve the urban and natural environment, a con- gestion tax (Trngselskatt) is levied for vehicular travel into the city center. Administration and collection of the tax is the responsibility of the Traffic Registry Department within the Swedish Transport Agency, which oversees the country's rail, air, sea, and road transportation systems. Until January 2009, it was operated by the Swedish Road Administration when that agency was dissolved into the Swedish Transport Agency. The City of Stockholm Traffic Administration and County Council-owned Greater Stockholm Public Transport (SL) contribute to the congestion tax's ongoing monitoring and evaluation. 12.1. Overview of Stockholm's Congestion Tax Stockholm's permanent congestion tax went into effect on August 1, 2007. A variable charge is levied to enter the 13.8-square-mile city center on weekdays between 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM. A charge of 10, 15, or 20 kroner varies on a fixed schedule with peak and shoulder periods cost- ing more. There is also a maximum daily charge of 60 kroner. Some vehicle exemptions apply and no charge is levied on public holidays or during the month of July. Control points along the city center cordon use a system of cameras, laser detectors, and antennae to automatically record vehicle license plates as they pass below gantries. A monthly bill is generated and sent to the registered owner. The charges are tax deductible for private indi- viduals traveling between home and work and for all business users. Prior to the permanent implementation of the congestion tax, a trial period was held from January 3 to July 31, 2006 (The Stockholm Trial). The decision to implement the trial dates to action by the Stockholm City Council in June 2003. This was followed by passage of a law by the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag, enabling a congestion tax/environmental charge to be levied in Stockholm until July 31, 2006 (Swedish Code of Statutes SFS 2004:629). The decision to begin the trial period on January 3, 2006, was set in April of the previous year. Along with implementing the congestion tax on a trial basis, the Stockholm Trial expanded public transit service and park-and-ride sites within the city and county. Specific goals of the trial included A 10- to 15-percent reduction in the number of vehicles that entered the central city during morning and afternoon rush hours Improved access on the busiest roads in Stockholm Reduced emissions of CO2, NOx, and particulates in central city air Better street-level environment as perceived by people in the central city During the Stockholm Trial, the Swedish government commissioned a Congestion Charge Secretariat to plan, coordinate, communicate, and evaluate the trial. The Congestion Charge Sec- retariat prepared and executed a comprehensive evaluation program to assess the extent of goal achievement and the effects of the Stockholm Trial. Contributions to creating the evaluation program came from the former Swedish Road Administration, the County Office of Regional Planning and Urban Transportation, SL, and various research institutes, private consultants, and city administrations.

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166 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects The end of the trial period was followed in September 2006 by referenda held in 15 Stockholm County municipalities (those in the urban region as well as four others) in which they voted on whether or not to implement the charge permanently. Only the City of Stockholm voted in favor of the permanent charge, but the ruling national government prior to the September election date (Social Democrats) had stated that they would act only on the results of the City of Stock- holm's referendum. The opposition party (Alliance for Sweden) had stated that they would con- sider the referenda of other municipalities as well if they came to power. The Alliance for Swe- den won a majority in that election, but prior to the formation of a government, party leaders announced on October 1 that the congestion tax would be implemented permanently. The tax was approved by Parliament in June 2007 and reintroduced on August 1. In 2008, revenue from the congestion tax was approximately 850 million kroner, including from the tax, administrative and late payment fees, and enforcement revenues. Operational costs amounted to about 393 million kroner, although this included several one-time charges. Esti- mated operational costs in 2010 and beyond are approximately 250 million kroner. Net revenues from the permanent charge (estimated to be 600 million kroner per year starting in 2010) have been reinvested in the Stockholm region's road network, unlike during the trial period when net revenues were invested in improved public transportation. 12.2. What Is Monitored? The full spectrum of performance monitoring activities for Stockholm's congestion tax is provided in the accompanying Facility Performance Monitoring Summary Matrix. The matrix is a comprehensive record of all current, known metrics used to monitor performance on the facility, organized by evaluation category. Provided in the matrix for each metric used are fre- quency of collection, purpose, a simple indication of importance, and particular characteriza- tions of the metric that relate back to agency/facility goals or applications. An expanded version of the matrix providing sources of information and other notes is included in the Final Report for NCHRP 08-75 which is available on line. The matrix is intended to be a visual overview of Stockholm's complete monitoring effort, easily comparable to other cordon or area priced facil- ities with similar matrix summaries. During its 7-month duration, a comprehensive monitoring program for the Stockholm Trial was carried out by the Congestion Charge Secretariat. A significant number of performance metrics were selected for a before-and-after evaluation with respect to the trial's stated goals-- congestion reduction, improved natural environment, and improved perceived city environment. The accompanying matrix indicates the full extent of these metrics. Those metrics that were mon- itored as part of the Stockholm Trial are indicated with an "X" in the box labeled "Before & After" under the "When" column, and "Stockholm Trials 12/06" is indicated in the column, referring to the final report on the trial's monitoring published 5 months after its conclusion. Significant measures of traffic to determine the trial's effect on congestion levels included vehicle volumes entering the central city through the priced cordon, travel times, and delays along major routes into the city center. Estimations of reductions in CO2, NOx, and particulates were important indicators of improved air quality and the natural environment. Finally, com- prehensive surveys helped inform the qualitative (and generally difficult to measure) perceived improvement on the urban environment. Questions asked in these surveys generally focused on quality-of-life impacts such as mode-specific transportation access, traffic conditions, air qual- ity, and safety and security. Additional metrics tracked throughout the trial period included total vehicle kilometers traveled (inside the cordon and along approach roads), mode share, bicycle and pedestrian counts, transit ridership and service, road safety, and various indicators of pub- lic perception.

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Congestion Pricing Case Studies 167 Since the implementation of the permanent congestion tax in August 2007, the City of Stock- holm Traffic Administration has published periodic reports on performance monitoring, repre- senting the most current performance evaluation of the congestion charge. However, the report- ing itself and the metrics monitored have been uneven and not as focused as the formal program in place for the 7-month trial period in 2006. Initial reports published shortly after the imple- mentation of the permanent charge largely tracked the same metrics as those during the trial and concluded that the permanent charge's effects on congestion had been very similar. Current monitoring of the permanent congestion tax includes metrics indicated in the matrix with an "X" in the box labeled "Ongoing" under the "When" column. The most current report from the Traffic Administration (September 2009) summarizes the collection of ongoing met- rics and an overview of the congestion tax from 20052008. Traffic volumes, travel times, and delay continue to be tracked, indicating a reduction in traffic slightly less than during the trial, but still to be considered significant. The report notes a significant increase in the number of exempt vehicles entering the charge zone (28 percent of the total), especially because of alterna- tive fuel vehicles, although this exemption expires in 2012. Air quality and emissions, including CO2, continue to be tracked and indicate improvements in the city's natural environment. Pub- lic transportation ridership and service performance is monitored and continues to show improvement with the permanent charge in place. Public perceptions and business impacts are also tracked and are generally favorable. Finally, revenue, as described previously, is reported. 12.3. Why Performance Evaluation Takes Place and How Performance Monitoring Data Is Used The comprehensive monitoring program during the 7-month trial period was critical to val- idating the success of the congestion charge and communicating its effects and benefits to stake- holders and the public. Instituting the congestion charge on a temporary basis and putting in place a rigorous program that made it possible to understand what worked well and what could be improved was a tactical decision that met with great success. Overall, the final report on the trial period concluded the congestion tax's goals were met, with an even greater-than-expected reduction in congestion, improved levels of CO2 and particulates, and an improved city environ- ment, at least with respect to those changes that could be measured and quantified. Measurable and documented improvements that were apparent to the public contributed to the success of the referendum in the City of Stockholm, which in turn convinced the Swedish Parliament to institute the congestion tax on a permanent basis. Currently, the City of Stockholm Traffic Administration reporting on traffic and the conges- tion tax notes that "it is becoming increasingly difficult to isolate the effects of the congestion tax both from other permanent and temporary changes in the traffic system, and from external fac- tors." This view helps explain the comparatively uneven monitoring and reporting since the inception of the permanent charge. The report goes on to state that long-term monitoring of the city's entire transportation system is essential to optimizing its use and minimizing impacts on the climate in the face of rising population and demand for travel. However, the report also states that "in this context the continued monitoring of the congestion tax as a distinct element of the traffic system is increasingly less relevant" and that future monitoring should occur coopera- tively at the regional level, accurately taking into account secondary effects and the intertwined nature of a multimodal transportation system.

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168 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Congestion Pricing Case Studies 169 Table 12-1. Stockholm congestion tax summary matrix.