Paris bans certain cars from roads, makes public transport free

This is all part of an attempt to reduce some very gnarly air pollution.

Wieslawa Hoummada/Getty Images

Paris is doing everything it can to combat its air pollution problem. Now, for the second day in a row, it's taking some drastic measures.

France's capital city has made public transportation free today, along with banning cars that have license plates ending in odd numbers, the Independent reports. Yesterday, only even-numbered plates were allowed to drive in the city. Drivers can be fined up to €35 ($37.64, £29.85) for violating the ban, and more than 1,700 were ticketed yesterday.

Pedestrians stroll along Paris' famous Champs-Elysees in September 2015 on a Sunday when the city experimented with a partial ban on car traffic.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Air pollution is the culprit. France's Airparif agency told the Independent that Paris is currently experiencing the worst and longest bout of winter pollution in at least a decade. A mixture of windless conditions, vehicle emissions and domestic wood fires is reportedly to blame.

There are some exceptions to the road ban, though. EVs and hybrids are allowed to cruise through Paris, as well as cars with at least three occupants. Foreign and emergency vehicles are also excepted from the ban, the latter of which should be pretty obvious.

This nasty pollution comes on the heels of the C40 Mayors Summit, where mayors from around the world convened to discuss the environment. The mayors of Paris, along with Mexico City, Athens and Madrid have all pledged to remove diesels from roads by 2025, in order to prevent air pollution from getting any worse.

Paris is no stranger to measures of this ilk. In addition to its C40 pledge, Paris also enacted a ban on pre-1997 vehicles (and pre-2000 motorcycles) in its city center on weekdays. Paris classifies vehicles in one of six segments based on their effect on the environment, and the hope is to only allow the cleanest vehicles on Parisian roads in the future.

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