Since April 1, low emission vehicles are getting a 30 percent reduction of parking fees in Graz. The new differentiated parking system, is expected to encourage more citizens to use vehicles with less environmental impact.
Drivers of non low emission vehicles have to pay € 1,20 per hour, whereas low emission vehicles pay € 0,80 per hour. Hence, the new scheme gives real benefits to low emission vehicles and provides a popular selling point of the new system.For getting the special tariff the drivers will have to register their vehicle at the city council. Then they will get a so called Umweltjeton (special coin) and a special sticker. The sticker is an official document, which is filled out by the city and includes the car number, type of car, colour of the car and an official seal of the city of Graz. The Umweltjeton and the special sticker are generally for free, so no extra registration fee is applicable. The sticker is valid for up to two years, after this the user has to apply for an extension of the sticker. The Umweltjeton has to be thrown into one of the parking machines, and then the parking machine allows for a reduced tariff, explains Gerhard Ablasser, deputy chief of the Grazer office for urban development and town preservation. The parking ticket is marked in the upper corner with a U which stands for Umweltticket (environmental friendly ticket). The sticker has to be located on the dash board behind the windscreen to be clearly visible for the enforcement teamIn order to get the reduction, the vehicle has to be classified as low polluting according to certain EU regulations (EURO IV). It also has to emit less than 140 g (130 g for diesel vehicles and including a filter for particulate matters) CO2 per driven kilometer. But before the lower parking tariff was introduced, the city of Graz faces different problems during the preparation period of about a year. Especially the legal regulation, in particularly the local law, which defines the parking tariffs, had to be changed. A paragraph, that declares the term low emission vehicles and the special tariff applied, was added, says Gerhard Ablasser.Now, when the new parking system is running, the City of Graz tries to promote low emission vehicles by contacting car dealers. Car dealers are directly in contact with car buyers, they are playing a key role in motivating their customers, by the lower parking tariff as well as from the environmental point of view.