Milan Will Pay You (in Vouchers) To Leave Your Car at Home

Dec 08, 2014 03:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

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Milan has a traffic problem.

The Italian city has the worst traffic congestion among all European and North American cities, something that residents have been asked to combat by opting for public transportation instead, the Financial Times reported.

Working with the insurer Unipol as well as the local transport network, Milan is giving residents a chance to earn vouchers worth €1.50, or the cost of one public transportation ticket, to keep their vehicles parked at home during the busy hours between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The system works through smart boxes that can be installed in cars to track their location as part of the "Park Your Car and Go Public" initiative. The devices come from Octo Telematics.

The company calls the campaign "an innovative and eco-compatible project that aims to reduce CO2 emissions from traffic congestion and improve quality of life by reducing the time citizens spend in cars."

That take may not be factoring in Italian culture, which is known for fast and stylish rides.

"Italians are very attached to their cars, even though they are more expensive than public transport and more inconvenient, given the congestion," Marco Percoco, transport economics assistant professor at Bocconi University, told the Financial Times. "To me, it's a matter of culture."

Already crowded, Milan gets more than 2 million tourists each year to see the city's landmarks, museums, art galleries and more.

Officials have been taking measures to try to reduce pollution produced by the emissions of so many vehicles, similar to how China has attempted to limit traffic in smog-choked cities including Beijing.

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