Milan Eases Traffic Flow by Paying Commuters to Take Public Transport
Major cities around the world face similar problems when it comes to traffic. It’s often easier for a commuter to hop in the car and get on the highway than it is to take public transport. But this usually results in overcrowded roads, which can stretch commute times out for hours and make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get to where they need to go. Now, the city of Milan in Italy is trying a different approach by paying drivers to leave their vehicles at home and take public transport to work, instead.
According to an article by the Financial Times (sub. req.), the traffic in Milan is the worst of any city in Europe or North America—the newspaper describes it as “crippling.” Faced with such nightmare traffic, it seems like a no-brainer for commuters to want to use mass transit, yet thousands still take to the roads every day. In order to combat the problem, a coalition of Milanese companies is sending drivers vouchers worth approximately $1.87 (the average daily cost for using public transit) for each day their vehicles remain parked in their driveways between the hours of 7:30 am and 7:30 pm.
It sounds slightly creepy, but the coalition will determine which vehicles have been left at home by tapping into connected-car technology to keep tabs on drivers’ vehicles. Unfortunately, this kind of thing probably wouldn’t fly here in the US due to privacy concerns.
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Whether or not the Milan experiment will work remains to be seen, but either way we applaud the Italian city for taking steps to decrease the number of cars on its roads. Not only will fewer cars relieve congestion, but it will also help preserve the environment for generations to come.
News Source: Financial Times (sub. req.)