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  • 1.
    Hansla, André
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Hysing, Erik
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Martinsson, Johan
    Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Explaining voting behavior in the Gothenburg congestion tax referendum2017In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 53, p. 98-106Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Gothenburg congestion tax was introduced in 2013 and later subjected to a consultative referendum where the citizens, despite getting first-hand experience with the scheme, rejected it. This article explains voting behavior in the referendum using both self-expressed motives and five nested models to test various explanations suggested in previous research. Drawing on an extensive longitudinal study, we conclude first that although a majority voted against the tax in the referendum, attitudinal preferences have become more positive since its introduction – supporting previous findings and hypothesis of familiarity effects. Second, we present a model for voting behavior that explains significant portions of the variance, concluding that it is not the outcomes of the charges that are important, but rather if the charges are in line with basic values, if the uses of the revenues (in this case, infrastructure investments) are supported, and if the institutions and processes introducing the charges are perceived as legitimate, trustworthy, and responsive. The article ends with general policy recommendations on the basis of these findings.

  • 2.
    Hultkrantz, Lars
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Liu, Xing
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Green cars sterilize congestion charges: a model analysis of the reduced impact of Stockholm road tolls2012In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 21, p. 110-118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Before–after comparisons indicate that the impact of the road toll in Stockholm on traffic volumes was smaller when the system was re-opened in 2007, compared to the effect during the trial in 2006. We calibrate a modal-choice model on data for Stockholm from before and during the trial and use it to simulate the effects of some seemingly subtle changes of the design of the congestion-charge scheme. We find that the growth of the share of exempted “green” cars and the decision to make charges deductible from the income tax was about to considerably reduce the positive welfare effect of the toll at the time when the “green” car exemption was abolished.

  • 3.
    Hysing, Erik
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Department of Economy and Society, Unit of Human Geography, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Citizen participation or representative government: building legitimacy for the Gothenburg congestion tax2015In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 39, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A key dilemma in transport planning involves how to make possible the radical changes needed for long-term sustainability while ensuring political legitimacy and democratic process. Congestion charges are a case in point; despite their being considered an effective policy measure for improving environmental and health problems in cities, it has proved difficult to secure public acceptance for them. This paper analyses the policy process behind the introduction of a congestion tax in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, focusing on strategies for building legitimacy for the tax. The results show that the tax was legitimated primarily through its broad support in the City Council, which had been secured by integrating the tax with infrastructure investments, while strategies for directly involving the citizens in the process, such as public consultation and local referendums, were neglected or actively opposed. The process successfully generated a capacity for decisive political action legitimated through representative government. Over time the decision may gain public acceptance, but the process used might also prove detrimental to the future of the congestion tax and undermine trust in the democratic institutions.

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