Milan, Italy, institutes congestion charge
In Milan, congestion pricing is the new black. (Oh, like you have a better fashion pun?) Under Milan’s new plan, which kicks off as a one-year trial, vehicles driving into the urban center on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. must pay up to $14 per day; low-polluting cars are exempt from the charge. Milan has the third-highest number of cars per capita in Europe, and some 89,000 cars enter the city center every day. The money raised will be put toward public transportation and bicycle paths, and Mayor Letizia Moratti hopes pollution will be reduced by 30 percent and traffic by 10 percent. On the first day of the scheme, traffic was estimated to be 40 percent lower than normal; the plan will be truly tested next week, when schools and businesses get back into full post-holiday swing.