The Federal government is considering free public transport

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In the city soon, free Bus and rail travel? The Federal government thinks about it, because you have to do after warnings from Brussels and more for clean air.


No tickets and no checks more: Free public transport could be in Germany to reality, the Federal government must step up its measures for clean air in the cities. Otherwise, a lawsuit threatens the European court of justice. This should be prevented, among other things, with free public transport.

This is evident from a letter from environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD), transport Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) and German Chancellery chief Peter Altmaier (CDU) at the EU environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, the magazine “Politico”.

In the Letter, the Federal government is to think together with the länder and municipalities with free public transport. To reduce the number of private vehicles. In addition, to support prohibited, if necessary, to cities in the introduction of driving to reduce the car-induced environmental pollution. However, driving bans should only apply in designated streets. The effectiveness of these measures will be tested in five cities, in Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg (Baden-Wuerttemberg), Reutlingen and Mannheim.

Baden-württemberg’s transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Green), but also of the German Association of cities were surprised by the foray of the Federal government. Both expect the Federal government to be a viable concept to Finance. “Public TRANSPORT to the zero tariff would be able to offer the municipalities only with the active financial support by the Federal government,” said Hermann. Although being open to unconventional ideas, hope, however, that the proposal is “not a smokescreen to ward off the threatened action of the EU Commission,” the Minister said.

Also in the case of commercial vehicles, something should be done: For the heavy traffic it should be “low emission zones”, in order to reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions in certain parts of the city. In addition, the fleet renewal of the corporate tax should be favored.

The additional measures were by the demands of the EU-Commission is necessary. You could bring an action before the European court of justice (ECJ), Germany should improve the air quality in the cities. A final consequence could be driving prohibitions.

Free public TRANSPORT is not without controversy

A free public transport, as it was introduced, for example, in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, however, is not without controversy: While the number of cars drops to the streets, while the utilization of buses and trains is increasing. There are also bike riders, the environment is already friendly to rise, however, to use public transport. By the many switchers have a significantly higher capacity at peak times will be needed and additional expenditure to come to the cities. So also the city of Tallinn could, according to the increase of passenger capacities, for financial reasons, not pay increase.

Also the US city of Portland in 2012, after almost 40 years, the free bus rides in the city centre. The occasion of a funding gap, at the same time, the buses came through the many short-haul passengers, but also getting worse and worse.

ene/dpa

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