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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
The budget for the entire Stockholm trial package was SEK 3.8 billion1] (€380 million), or approximately SEK 2.7 billion (€270 million) after deductions for various residual values. Of this total net budget approximately two thirds were costs for investments, initialisation and commissioning of the congestion charging system, whereas the remaining third related to other parts of the package – for example public transport, improved park-and-ride facilities, information and evaluation.
The Swedish Road Administration has estimated that the tested system can be run on an operating cost of around SEK 220 million (€22 million) p.a including re-investments. Initially this cost has been quite higher however. Based on this figure, the Stockholm system is relatively expensive to operate in comparison with those systems in Norway with which it share certain similarities with regard to technology, design and function. For example, the system in Oslo, which is the same size as Stockholm’s (approximately 90 million passages p.a. compared to Stockholm’s approximately 80 million passages p.a.) costs around SEK 145 million (€14,5 million) p. a. in operating costs and administrative expenses.
The cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that was conducted in connection to the trial concluded that if viewed solely as a short-term trial which, once terminated, will not subsequently be resumed, the Stockholm Trial represented a disbenefit of some SEK 2.6 billion (€260 million) in socioeconomic terms.
However, if congestion charging were to be made permanent, corresponding calculations suggested that the system would generate a substantial annual surplus in CBA terms of some SEK 760 million (€76 million) after deductions for operating costs. The investment cost sustained by society would then be “repaid” in the form of socioeconomic benefits within four years. This is a very quick repayment period in comparison with, for example, investments in road infrastructure and public transport, which even under relatively favourable circumstances have a repayment time of between 15 and 25 years.
On the plus side of the balance sheet in the cost-benefit analysis of the congestion-charging system are, for example, shorter travel times (value: SEK 600 million p.a. (€60 million)), improved traffic safety (SEK 125 million p.a. (€12,5 million)) and the positive effects on health and the environment (SEK 90 million p.a.(€9 million) Income from the congestion tax is estimated at around SEK 550 million (€55 million) p.a. after deductions for operating costs.
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