By Ben Bull
Published April 14, 2009
Put Milan's EcoPass system into the 'Good Ideas That Will Never Get Implemented Over Here' category.
In response to the Italian's city's dramatically worsening air conditions, the local government has implemented a scheme to toll downtown drivers based on the emissions their cars spew out:
Italy's fashion capital recently decided to continue its Ecopass scheme, a toll based on the emissions a vehicle produces, in hopes of reducing pollution and traffic in its congested downtown core. The plan, also known as ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato) was successfully tested last year, and after impressive results, has been extended to the end of 2009.
Drivers entering the eight-square kilometre ZTL are required to buy a ticket daily or an annual pass for a price based on the emissions their vehicle produces.
Drivers of hybrid and electric cars, as well as cars that meet the highest European emission standards, do not pay anything. On each visit, drivers of low-polluting vehicles are charged two euros ($3.23 Canadian), medium-polluting cars cost five euros ($8.08), and heavy or old vehicles with high emissions cost 10 euros ($16.17).
Most of the revenue goes back into Milan's transportation system, including the construction of new bicycle paths.
Sadly, Toronto's transit friendly city councillor, Glenn De Baeremaeker, doesn't think the scheme will fly in the GTA - at least not for a while.
"I don't think the public would accept it yet," he told the Star yesterday. "We may catch up to them about a decade from now."
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