With the introduction in 2013 of a toll system called GreenPass, cars will have to pay to use the famous Stelvio Pass. But what does this mean for cyclists?
For the moment, cyclists seem to be in the clear. They, along with electric and hybrid vehicles are designated as FREE. Cars, buses, trucks, etc. will have to pay, starting at 10 euros for a 7 day pass. A season pass can be purchased for 60 euros.
The move to add a toll comes in large part from the heavy maintenance bill faced by the highway department responsible for maintaining the road. But as supporters of the toll are quick to point out, it’s not just about the money. It’s an effort to protect the sensitive alpine environment from excessive personal vehicle traffic. Some hope that the toll will persuade tourists to take public transport to the top of the Stelvio Pass, rather than their own cars.
It will be interesting to see how this actually plays out during the first summer of operation when visitation to the Stelvio will peak. It’s somewhat easy to imagine increased traffic at the toll gates, backing up for kilometers down the road. From the cycling perspective: that wouldn’t be much fun to ride past. Perhaps the end result will in fact be fewer cars on the Stelvio Pass. But is a 10 euro toll enough of a deterrent? If so that’ll mean less cars on the road and more room for bikes!