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"A kilometer tax would reduce traffic by 10%"
A kilometer tax of 7 eurocents within the Brussels Regional Express Network (GEN) zone would decrease traffic by 10%, according to a recent study ordered by the Brussels regional government.
The study, carried out by the research company Stratec, revealed that a 7 cent tax would result in decreasing the total number of kilometres driven in the GEN zone by 10% by 2018. Most drivers would start using the train, while Brussels’ public transport system MIVB, Wallonia's TEC and Flanders' De Lijn would also see new customers. The study showed that a very small number of drivers would start biking to work.
The tax would also have a positive affect on air quality. Counts of CO2, sulfur dioxide and fine particulates would all decrease by about 9%. The 7-cent tax would bring in €227.7 million for the Brussels government. After subtracting €91.8 million in annual costs for the system’s implementation, the total yearly profits would come out to €135.9 million.
This study is released just as a kilometer tax trial is to begin next week in the Brussels GEN zone. For the trial, 9 eurocents per kilometer will be applied on city traffic during high congestion hours, 6.5 cents outside of the city and 5 cents on motorways.
The kilometer tax has solicited heavy public response in its trial stages, among which an online petition against the project with 118,000 signatures. A definitive decision on the kilometer tax will be made by the next regional administration after the elections in May.