Implications for the United States
Edited by Harry W. Richardson and Chang-Hee Christine Bae
Chapter 13: Worse than a Congestion Charge: Paris Traffic Restraint Policy
13. Worse than a congestion charge: Paris traﬃc restraint policy Rémy Prud’homme and Pierre Kopp 1 INTRODUCTION Congestion charges are good in theory, but can be bad in practice. Studying the case of London, Prud’homme and Bocarejo (2005) concluded that implementation costs were higher than the time gains for remaining car users (net of the welfare loss of evicted car users) and the time gains for bus users and environmental gains. Studying the case of Stockholm, Prud’homme and Kopp (2006) reached a similar conclusion. However, the shrinking of road space policy followed in Paris is much worse: it is bad in theory and bad in practice. Let us begin by clarifying the meaning of ‘Paris’. The expression is used, and can be used, to designate two diﬀerent realities: the ‘Paris agglomeration’ and the ‘Paris municipality’. The Paris agglomeration is an economic and social entity with a population of 11 million people, which functions as a largely integrated labour market, in part thanks to good highway and public transport systems. It comprises over 1,000 municipalities, the basic French politico-administrative unit. The Paris municipality, with about 2 million people, is one of them. It is obviously the most important one, and the heart of the agglomeration, but it represents only a ﬁfth of the agglomeration in terms of population, and much less in area. The many studies that compare Paris deﬁned as a municipality (2 million people) with London (7 million people) or New York (9 million...
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