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Gothenburg's congestion charging system goes live

Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, has introduced a congestion charging system for all motorists entering or leaving the city, which began on January 1. The system is intended to help finance local infrastructure investments, reduce greenhouse gases and cut traffic in the city center by around 15%. The project is a partnership between the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket). The Transport Administration is in charge of operating and maintaining the tolling infrastructure, while the Transport Agency is responsible for collecting revenue and operating the administration and financial systems. A similar system was introduced in the country’s capital, Stockholm, in 2007, which has resulted in a 15-18% reduction of traffic in the city center.

Q-Free won the US$25.5 million contract for the congestion charging infrastructure in March 2012. The company has been responsible for the delivery of the roadside equipment, which includes over 40 tolling stations around the city, and is also responsible for servicing and maintenance for the next two years, with an option for an additional six years. Overhead ANPR cameras register the license plates of cars entering or leaving the city limits between the hours of 06:00-18:29, from Monday to Friday. Motorists are charged a variable fee, depending on the time of day, and can either have the amount automatically deducted from their bank account, pay at certain shops or via the internet. The holiday month of July will be free, as are evenings and weekends. Cars with foreign license plates and emergency vehicles will be exempt from the charge.

January 4, 2013

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