In order for the Netherlands to be mobile in 2030, choices must be made. This is stated by the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) in a new study on mobility policy that was published on Tuesday. For example, the rush hour traffic on the road can be countered well by introducing a rush hour charge.
In the view of the planning agencies, a rush-hour charge works better than a flat kilometer charge. "Pricing can be a more efficient way to allocate scarce capacity than waiting time (standing in a traffic jam)," the report said (PDF). The better the charge is differentiated according to time and location, the more influence it has on the crowds and the more society benefits from it.
A tax makes traveling by car more expensive and therefore more disadvantageous for the commuter and the employer. With a rush hour charge, however, the travel time is shortened during rush hour, which will not be the case with a kilometer charge. The planning agencies therefore argue that a flat kilometer charge is primarily a way to discourage car use and not so much to avoid peak traffic.
Other advice from the CPB and PBL includes changes to the OV student card, because during rush hours a fifth of the travelers by train are students. "Because students can travel freely with a travel product, they are currently not (financially) stimulated to travel by public transport outside rush hour if that were possible," the study said.
The government should also focus more on bundling living and working. According to the planning agencies, the greatest mobility gains can be achieved there, although this is something for the longer term. "If more jobs are located within a short distance by bundling residential and work locations, it means that more jobs can be reached by car, bicycle and public transport within the same budget of time, money and effort."