Congestion charge

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What reasons are there for implementing or not implementing a congestion charging system in a city? What values and combinations of values result in which combination?


  • The questions are generic, but we aim to look at the issue also specifically in Helsinki.
  • We look at the current situation.

Intended use and users

  • --# : Who could use this information and how? Fill in your thoughts. --Jouni (talk) 11:36, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

--# : The assessment would help the authorities in Helsinki city to decide about the implementation of congestion charge policy --Ehab Mustafa (talk) 00:31, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

  • --# : I think it would be very great if different groups of the stakeholders have an access to our assessment --Amr Ebrahim (talk) 22:41, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

The assessment is intended firstly for decision makers - authorities of the city of Helsinki. Secondly the information derived from the assessment is valuable for other stakeholders. Examples of these are: businesses (especially those directly affected by the congestion charge), tourists and other people visiting the area and local population. Besides providing information that can be helpfull in the decision making process the assessment can serve as a mean of increasing general knowledge of the congesion charge as it includes, summarizes and relates different aspects of the topic.


Decisions and scenarios

--# : What options do exist? Fill in your thoughts. --Jouni (talk) 11:36, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

--# : Definitely, more intensive studies by expertise will be required before taking a final decision --Ehab Mustafa (talk) 00:36, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

There are different options considering the implementation of congestion charge. The main two scenarios are: to realize the congestion charge scheme or not. The implementation of congestion charge can be achieved in different ways considering different aspects (health, air quality, economic etc.) identified in this assessment. Different ways of implementation can therefore also represent various possible scenarios.


The assessment will be performed during April-May 2017.


In order to reach the sustainable mode of transport, road charges can be used. They can smoothen the trip and transport chain, control the congestion, make the transport system conveniently accessible and enhance the competitiveness of public transport. The road charges can take part in a compact urban structure of the core area, the rail corridors and the centers of the municipality.

Road charges will cause costs but their costs are relatively low in comparison to the costs that congestions will cause in the lack of these constructions for the road users.

In order for the road charges to be effective, new legislations that give permission for them to be constructed is required to be implemented. Fixed-term experimental legislations can be an alternative for this administration.

Costs are really important in this case. Therefore the revenue of the road charge needs to be spent for the area in which the road charge is implemented. It should be considered that the funding for the area stated by the state or municipality is not influenced negatively because of the existence of the road charge.

The transport system and the urban structure have to be optimized effectively in terms of socio-economic aspects that can be somehow tackled through the costs. Pressure can be caused in the planning since the road charges cause a high financial burden for some individuals that will lead to modification in their travel habits.

Road charges enhance the city centre's’ role as service, employment and commercial hub. However, the attractiveness of the zone between the rings for commercial uses will decrease.

Minimization of negative externalities of traffic demand on road network.

  • Road pricing (key economic tools)
  • Profit target (pricing model)
  • Improvement of traffic network system, minimum environmental impact,
  • Definition of congestion is decreasing transporters natural speed.

The available information from different cities where congeston pricing was implemented suggest that congestion charge can have positive effects on the air quality in the city (e.g. it can have a role in reduced levels of NOx, CO2 and PM10 emissions).



The causal diagram is based on this Google drawing, which should be updated and uploaded to Opasnet from time to time.

These tables are being written to Google Sheet (for easier user interface) and copied here from time to time. See Google Sheets.


Contents of Items table
Column Explanation
ID Unique identifier of the row.
Name A short descriptive name for this row. Used when making a reference to this row.
Timestamp Time when the row was added.
User Who added the row (first name)
Type It the item a factual statement (fact) or value statement (value); or decision, action or variable?
Description Verbal description of the content of the row.
1I1 Air Quality20.5.17 0:00edemfactcongestion charge affect air quality
2I2 Health15.5.17 0:00edemfactCongestion charge scheme will improve the populations’ health
3I3Choices15.5.17 0:00edemvalueCongestion charge scheme constrains individual choice and behavior.
4I4 Roads usage15.5.17 0:00edemvalueThe economic viability of tariffs and transformation of urban space will encourage more use of roads and cars.
5I5 Capital growth in 29.4.17 1:07edemvaluecongestion charge schemes can restrict urban mobility and human capital growth.
6I6Toxicity charge unfair15.5.17 0:00edemvalueToxicity charge as a form of congestion charge is unfair to old car users
7I7Prevent misuse of shared resource15.5.17 0:00edemvaluecongestion charge prevents the occurrence of misuse use of shared resource
8I8economic15.5.17 0:00kaisuvaluefinancially cost-saving
9I9effect on traffic15.5.17 0:00kaisufactchanges the traffic flow both in terms of space and time
10I10Congestion charge need to be dynamics15.5.17 0:00TamaravalueTo ensure air quality standards, the congestion charge scheme needs to be dynamic
11I11Choose CC system: none, VE1, VE315.5.17 0:00JounidecisionDecision for the city council to make: to choose one congestion charge policy or none.
12I12Investment and implementation costs15.5.17 0:00JounivariableCosts occurring from the investment and operation (on annual basis) of the congestion charge system
13I13Number of cars during rush hours15.5.17 0:00JounivariableNumber of cars during rush hours on important busy streets (answer to this variable can most easily be described as a map with congestion situation on different streets)
14I14Tax revenue15.5.17 0:00JounivariableAmount of taxes collected from the congestion charge system
15I15People's values15.5.17 0:00JouniindicatorPeople's values and attitudes about congestion charge, freedom to drive etc.
16I16People's behaviour15.5.17 0:00JounidecisionActions that people take based on their values, economic incentives, and practicalities
17I17Transport mode distribution (car, bus, bike, walk)15.5.17 0:00JounivariableNumbers of people in different traffic modes in Helsinki (especially during rush hour)
18I18Reachability of downtown and suburban areas15.5.17 0:00JounivariableHow accessible different places in the city are, in respect of time or money needed to go there, or their attractiveness
19I19Active transport (physical exercise)15.5.17 0:00JounivariableAmount of physical exercise that people do to reach the places where they are going rather than because of training (also known as active transport)
20I20Air pollution and CO2 emissions15.5.17 0:00JounivariableEmissions that occur from the traffic (specified spatially and temporally, because rush hour emissions expose more people than otherwise)
21I21Climate and health impacts15.5.17 0:00JouniindicatorA summary indicator of climate and health impacts of congestion charge policies
22I22Economic impacts15.5.17 0:00JouniindicatorA summary indicator of economic impacts for different stakeholders (citizens, car drivers, overall societal impacts, companies in downtown or suburban areas)
23I23Need-based pricing model16.5.17 0:00JounivaluePricing modeling strategy based on planned profit target should be avoided in this case.
24I24Urban structure16.5.17 0:00JounivariableTariffication of urban space will contribute to physically dissect Helsinki into price zones
25I25Social modification16.5.17 0:00JounivalueSocial space should be a citizen entitlement
26I26Segment-based toll gate strategy16.5.17 0:00JounivalueUtilise toll gate strategies based on segments
27I27Pilot driver behavior16.5.17 0:00JounivalueDrivers to behavioral shift should be weighed before piloting (using heuristic analysis based on nudge theory)
28I28Social activities should be planned16.5.17 0:00JounivalueSocial activities and commercial accessibility should be planned before implementation so smart solutions won't create a constraint


Contents of Relations table
Column Explanation
ID Unique identifier of the row.
Name A short descriptive name for this row. Used when making a reference to this row.
Timestamp Time when the row was added.
User Who added the row (first name)
Subject Name or identifier of the thing we are talking about
Predicate Predicate of a sentence (i.e. a verb describing a relation). For list of relations, see Structure of shared understanding
Object Name or identifier of a thing, or number (see above)
Description Verbal description of the content of the row.
1R115.5.17 12:00ehabdecrease in 10 % PM emissionaffectImprovement of Air Quality
2R2 Health15.5.17 0:00tamarareduction in road accidentsupportsImprovement of Health
3R3Choices15.5.17 0:00Amrimprovement in public transport patronagesupportsAffect Choices
4R4Roads usage15.5.17 0:00TineagainstEncouragement of Roads usage
5R5Capital growth15.5.17 0:00Amr Viable increase in bussiness occupancies out of Helsinki centeragainstAgainst human capital growth in center of helsinki
6R6Toxicity charge 15.5.17 0:00edemequal tariff schemesupportsToxicity charge unfair
7R7Shared resource15.5.17 0:00edemeffective usage of roadmakes relevant Prevent misuse of shared resource
8R8economic15.5.17 0:00kaisuClimate and health impactsassociates toeconomic
9R9effect on traffic15.5.17 0:00kaisueffective usage of roadaffecteffect on traffic
10R10Congestion charge needs to be dynamic15.5.17 0:00TamaraCongestion charge need to be dynamicssupportCongestion charge needs to be dynamic
11R11Choose CC system: none, VE1, VE315.5.17 0:00JouniChoose CC system: none, VE1, VE3affectTax revenue
12R12Investment and implementation costs15.5.17 0:00JouniInvestment and implementation costsaffecteconomic
13R13Number of cars during rush hours15.5.17 0:00JouniNumber of cars during rush hoursaffectReachability of downtown and suburban areas
14R14Tax revenue15.5.17 0:00Jounitax revenue makes relevantdecision of council to choose a congestion charge
15R15People's values15.5.17 0:00JouniPeople's valuessupportPrevent misuse of shared resource
16R16People's behaviour15.5.17 0:00JouniPeople's behaviouraffectTransport mode distribution (car, bus, bike, walk)
17R17Transport mode distribution (car, bus, bike, walk)15.5.17 0:00Jounieffect on trafficaffectPeople's behaviour
18R18Reachability of downtown and suburban areas15.5.17 0:00Jounireachability of downtown and suburban areassupportactive transport(physical exercise)
19R19Active transport (physical exercise)15.5.17 0:00JouniActive transport (physical exercise)affectImprovement of Health
20R20Air pollution and CO2 emissions15.5.17 0:00JouniAir pollution and CO2 emissios affect climate and health impacts
21R21Climate and health impacts15.5.17 0:00JouniClimate and health impactsmakes relevantTax revenue
22R22Economic impacts15.5.17 0:00Jounitax revenue affectseconomic impart


Contents of Evaluations table
Column Explanation
ID Unique identifier of the row.
Name A short descriptive name for this row. Used when making a reference to this row.
Timestamp Time when the row was added.
User Who added the row (first name)
Subject Name or identifier of the thing we are talking about
Evaluation One of the relations listed below. The content goes to column Object.
  • Truth: Either True or False
  • Probability: A value between 0 and 1
  • Better than: An item or relation that is worse than subject
  • More important than: An item or relation that is less important than subject
  • Utility: A value between 0 (least preferred choice) and 1 (most preferred choice)
Object Name or identifier of a thing, or number (see above)
Description Verbal description of the content of the row.
1E1 Air Quality15.5.17 12:00ehabreduction in levels of emissionsImprovement of Air Quality
2E2 Health30.12.99 0:00tamarareduction in road accidentImprovement of Health
3E3Choices30.12.99 0:00Amrimprovement in public transport patronageAffect Choices
4E4Roads usage30.12.99 0:00TineEncouragement of Roads usage
5E5Capital growth30.12.99 0:00Amr Viable increase in bussiness occupancies out of Helsinki centerAgainst human capital growth in center of helsinki
6E6Toxicity charge 30.12.99 0:00edemequal tariff schemeToxicity charge unfair
7E7Shared resource30.12.99 0:00edemeffective usage of roadPrevent misuse of shared resource
  • --# : Add links to pages that belong to this assessment. --Jouni (talk) 11:36, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Links to variable pages

Tamara's and Tine's variable page on Congestion charge impacts on air quality.

--# : Google Drive Work Environment--Ehab Mustafa (talk) 00:23, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

+ Show code

See also

Articles in Wikipedia