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The Stockholm congestion pricing syndrome: how congestion charges went from unthinkable to uncontroversial

  • Eliasson , Jonas

    ()

    (KTH)

Congestion pricing was introduced in Stockholm 2006, first as a trial followed by a referendum, and permanently from 2007. Public attitudes to the charges became more negative during the period from the decision to the start of the system. Once the system started, public attitudes became dramatically more positive over the following years, going from 2/3 against the charges to more than 2/3 in favour of the charges. While the traditional explanatory variables self-interest and belief in the charges’ effectiveness strongly affect attitudes at any given point in time, we show that they cannot explain the change in opinion. Moreover, self-reported changes in behaviour and attitudes considerably underestimate actual changes. About 3/4 of the decrease in car trips and more than half of the change in attitudes seem to have gone unnoticed by respondents, ex post. We discuss how the debate and the shift in attitudes can be understood as a public and political reframing of the congestion pricing over time.

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File URL: http://www.transportportal.se/swopec/CTS2014-1.pdf
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Paper provided by CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI) in its series Working papers in Transport Economics with number 2014:1.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Eliasson, Jonas, 'The role of attitude structures, direct experience and framing for successful congestion pricing' in Transportation Research A, 2014, pages 81-95.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ctswps:2014_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Web page: http://www.cts.kth.se/

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  1. Nyborg, Karine, 2000. "Homo Economicus and Homo Politicus: interpretation and aggregation of environmental values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 305-322, July.
  2. Jens Schade & Bernhard Schlag, 2000. "Acceptability of Urban Transport Pricing," Research Reports 72, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  3. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas & Hugosson, Muriel & Brundell-Freij, Karin, 2012. "The Stockholm congestion charges – five years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:3, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  4. Eliasson, Jonas, 2008. "Lessons from the Stockholm congestion charging trial," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 395-404, November.
  5. Schade, J. & Baum, M., 2007. "Reactance or acceptance? Reactions towards the introduction of road pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-48, January.
  6. Eliasson, Jonas & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Equity effects of congestion pricing: Quantitative methodology and a case study for Stockholm," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 602-620, August.
  7. Eliasson, Jonas & Börjesson, Maria & van Amelsfort, Dirk & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Engelson, Leonid, 2013. "Accuracy of congestion pricing forecasts," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 34-46.
  8. Björn Hårsman & John M. Quigley, 2010. "Political and public acceptability of congestion pricing: Ideology and self-interest," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 854-874.
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