By Adam Rubenfire
Dangerously high pollution levels this past week prompted officials in Paris to take some drastic measures to curb the city’s smog problem.
The most radical measure came Monday. About half of the city’s cars were forced off Parisian streets when the French government announced that vehicles with even-numbered license plates would not be allowed to drive within the limits of the city or its suburbs.
Taxis, carpools, and commercial electric or hybrid vehicles were exceptions to the rule, which, combined with favorable weather conditions, appeared to alleviate the smog that consumed the Paris skyline, according to the BBC.
Although thousands of individuals faced ticketing for violating the ban — some less cooperative motorists even had their cars impounded — there was an upside for commuting Parisians. All forms of public transit were free of charge from Friday through Tuesday.
The 100 percent discount on fares cost the region four million Euros a day ($5.5 million), according to online publication The Local.
Loosening the turnstiles and taking automobiles off the roads may seem extreme, but car free streets are the norm in some communities around the globe.