Free parking no longer free

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State officials are making another concerted effort to get Norwegians to walk, cycle or use public transportation instead of driving their cars to work. The latest initiative comes from the highway department itself.

Employees of what’s called Vegdirektoratet in Norway no longer will be able to park for free in state-owned parking lots attached to highway department offices. Current proposals call for them to pay NOK 25 (about USD 4) a day for parking, starting this spring. That will add up to around NOK 6,000 (USD 1,000) over the course of a year.

The idea is to make driving so expensive that more Norwegians will opt for public transportation. They already pay high fuel taxes and various vehicle taxes including those that generally double the retail price of a new car.

State highway director Terje Moe Gustavsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) this week that he thinks all employers should impose parking fees on their workers, “to hinder unnecessary driving.”

Views and News staff