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Smart Transportation   –  Energy Efficient Urban Transport Network:

ST-1.9 Other Transit Service Enhancements

Car-free days in Seoul

Whereas some cities with car-free programs have gone to the extreme of banning cars on a particular day or observing a day with a token campaign, Seoul’s version of this program – called the Weekly No Driving Day Program – has incorporated incentive measures. Originally proposed by an NGO in July 2003, the program’s operational and incentive measures include the following:

  • Citizens voluntarily choose one day among weekdays as a no driving day (0700 to 2200 hours) except on weekends and public holidays;
  • Participants receive a set of e-tags and stickers; and
  • Incentive measures to participants are provided by the public as well as the private sector (non-commercial vehicles carrying less than 10 passengers are eligible) as shown below:

Incentives (Public sector):

  • 5 per cent reduction in auto-tax
  • 50 per cent discount on congestion charge
  • 10-20 per cent discount on public parking fees

Incentives (private sector):

  • 1-6 percent discount on gasoline price
  • 10 percent discount on car maintenance cost
  • Free or discount on car washes


  • a participant rate of 30 per cent;
  • a decrease in traffic volume of 7 per cent;
  • an increase in operating speed of 13 per cent;
  • a reduction in emissions of 12 per cent;
  • a reduction of particular matter (PM) of 10: 3.5 mg/m^3; and
  • an annual fuel cost saving of US$600 million


  • Financial incentive measures work better than a sole reliance on voluntary action;
  • IT/Internet use facilitated car users’ registering the choice of a day not to drive and obtaining the e-tag and sticker to receive the discounts provided as incentive measures; and
  • An NGO campaign and public-private sector cooperation in giving incentives produced good results.

Case study courtesy of the UNEP Publication, Reducing Emissions from Private Cars: Incentive measures for behavioural change.

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