Though the idea of rationing private cars is not a new one (Beijing, and much of the more urban parts of Latin America come to mind; Paris even tried it in 1997), it is a new idea for Paris, France. Yesterday, after much political infighting, the Parisians took a test drive of a less congested Paris. After over 4,000 $30 slap-on-the-wrist tickets were handed out, the municipal government has retreated in their efforts to mitigate pollution by reducing road use.
Alternatively powered vehicles including hybrids and EVs were allowed to drive about as they wished, as were folks that carpooled with 3 or more in their car. 90 percent of the drivers somehow complied with the odd-even license plate ban, but the enforcement capital may have done this ban in. The Parisian government even allowed the public transport system to operate for free during the experiment, but that did not help.
Why did one of the more iconic municipalities in Europe choose to do this strange thing to their driving populous? It is largely due to the fact that they heavily subsidize diesel fuel, which significantly contributes to particulate smog (i.e. the type that one can see), among many other pollutants. The other driving force is the large number of car owners compared to other European cities.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: National Public Radio