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"A kilometer tax would reduce traffic by 10%"

12:40 10/02/2014

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.

Written by Kelly Hendricks

Comments

John_B

This is a very unfair tax:
1) It's the lower paid who won't be able to afford to drive and will have to waste more of their free/family time on public transport.
2) Why should people who don't have public transport have to pay a tax travel with the only option available.
If the government is serious about reducing traffic then it would be a much better option to persuade business to encourage staff to work from home, perhaps with a system of tax breaks, that would reduce the traffic and the burden on public transport.

Feb 10, 2014 18:23
MarkMadeley

Let's be clear. It is just another tax - to raise money for general funds. The Government will not spend the money improving the public transport system. so at best more and more people will be crowded on to the metros, buses and trams. Those that don't have the option of using public transport will be stung by this tax and all of us who own a car in Brussels will no doubt end up getting stung too.
Am I cynical? No. Rather, pragmatic!

Feb 16, 2014 19:38