Could you give up driving for an entire year if your public transportation costs were subsidized? The British government feels that it's quite possible, and is willing to pay for participants to trial public transportation on the condition that they give up their car for an entire year in the name of pollution, according to The Times.
Motorists who take on the challenge will receive a credit loaded to either a travel card or smartphone app to use for their daily travels. They can use this credit on a number of different methods of transportation, including bicycle sharing, electric car ride-hailing, and more traditional forms of public transportation.
Specifically, the trial will reportedly ask participants to surrender their cars for a period of time in exchange for between 2,000 and 3,000 Pound Sterling (which at the time of writing is equivalent to $2,639.48 and $3,957.52, respectively). Transportation habits will be monitored throughout the duration of the government-funded study to determine the necessary amount of money required to easily transition from vehicle owner to public mobility user.
The advantageous project is the first of its kind in the UK and is aimed at reducing both pollution and economic impact in the crowded city. Research suggests that traffic congestion cost the average citizen around 42 minutes each workday or roughly 178 hours per year. The economic impact is also assessed as costing nearly $10.6 billion ($8 billion GBP).
Presently, the amount of carbon pollution produced by traditionally fueled motor vehicles is the focal point of many European governments, some of which are seeking to ban sales of petrol-powered cars as early as 2040.
If the government trial proves to be successful, it will be expanded further across the country. Taxpayer support is also expected to be removed and replaced with long-term funding by private companies, including electric car clubs, as well as privately-operated bus and train operators.