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Germany’s reduced train fares saved 1.8m tons of CO2

Germany’s low-fare train scheme has helped the county to save 1.8 million tons of carbon emissions, as people chose to use public transport more often.

The country introduced it’s €9 monthly ticket in June to help the public to cope with inflation and cost of living pressures.

Passengers could travel anywhere across the country for just €9 and many chose to forego their car when commuting, saving the equivalent carbon emissions used to power 350,000 homes for a year.

‘The results of the market research clearly show that people want local public transport if the ticket is simple and understandable and can be used flexibly everywhere,’ said Dr. Mike Schaeferin, Chairman of the Conference of Transport Ministers (VMK) of the federal states. ‘They are willing to leave their car there if such a ticket is not only valid for the manageable period of three months.

‘Solutions must now be developed that expand and strengthen local and regional transport in urban and rural areas. This is only possible on the basis of a long-term, secure financing basis that makes public transport efficient in the long term and affordable for everyone. The federal government in particular is called upon here.’

52 million tickets were sold over the summer, with 10% of journeys replacing those that would have been made by car.

In a survey of 78,000 people, conducted by the VDV public transport lobby, 56% of respondents said their main reason for buying the ticket was the low price.

This was followed by 43% saying they bought tickets because they didn’t want to drive.

Amongst those that didn’t buy tickets, 37% said they were unlikely to use it, 35% preferred travelling by car and 33% said they were not well connected enough to travel by train.

The scheme is now coming to a close, but ministers are considering whether the subsidy could be extended to encourage use of public transport and to help people cope with inflation.

Photo by Norbert Braun

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