The basic idea of the application is the following. Every user will receive a carbon budget that will get spent based on their travel mode choices. By making more sustainable travel choices the user earns virtual euros that can be exchanged on a marketplace to city services, or discounts.
The mobility data platform opens up possibilities for new mobility service development. Lahti PCT model is co-created from the start with the city's decision-makers, residents, local businesses and collaboration partners.
Personal carbon trading logic
The overall aim of the pilot has been to co-create together with citizens an incentive system for more sustainable mobility in their daily trips within urban area Lahti. Participation is voluntary-based and emphasizes incentives over penalties. PCT model of Lahti promotes also activity and public transportation use.
How does it function?
Carbon cap of the PCT system is defined based on the emission reduction targets set by the city of Lahti and adjusted by the amount of participants. Carbon cap stands for the total amount of carbon allowances, which are allocated to the participants. Citizens are engaged in deciding the allocation principle.
Transport mode tracking is done with PCT mobile app, which can automatically identify different types of mobility and calculates the CO2-emissions, time and distance travelled. When user manages to save carbon allowances, he/she earns in virtual euros that can be used for benefits and services on the app's marketplace.
Users are not punished for surpassing the amount of carbon allowances, but it increases the carbon price at the market. Carbon price increases, when collectively more users surpass rather than save their allowances. In the vice versa situation, carbon price decreases accordingly. This is directly reflected on the price of different modes of transportation, and hence act as an incentive to choose a low-carbon mobility option.
Car driver can earn PCT credits too by reducing the travelling distance, using carpooling or changing to an electric or biogas vehicle. Carbon cap can be lowered after a certain period, which will raise carbon price. It is also possible to incite citizens to reduce their carbon emissions through temporary campaigns during which the carbon price is significantly higher than usually, e.g. during the cycling week.