Germany’s €9 train ticket scheme ‘saved 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions’ | Germany
Germany’s three-month experiment with €9 tickets for a month of unlimited travel on regional rail networks, trams and buses saved around 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 broadcasts, it was claimed.
Since its introduction on June 1 to reduce fuel consumption and ease the cost of living crisis, around 52 million tickets have been sold, including a fifth to people who do not usually use public transport. The scheme is due to end on Wednesday.
The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), which carried out the study, said the number of people who switched from cars to public transport thanks to the €9 ticket was behind the reduction shows.
“The popularity of €9 tickets has not diminished and the positive effect on it in the fight against climate change is verifiable,” said the VDV. He said the emissions saved were equivalent to powering 350,000 homes, and a similar drop would be seen over a period of a year if Germany introduced a speed limit on its motorways. A typical passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 tonnes of carbon per year.
Olaf Scholz, the chancellor, who has come under fire for what some interpreted as a lackadaisical attitude to Germany’s soaring fuel prices and steep rise in the cost of living in recent months, praised the programme, calling the €9 ticket “our best idea yet”.
The program is also believed to have helped keep inflation, currently at around 8%, slightly lower than it otherwise would have been.
Not only did passengers praise the cheapness of the system, but they reveled in its simplicity, as it cut swathes of complications ranging from a myriad of transport zones to ticket categories that differ significantly from region to region. to the other.
Just over 37% of people who bought the ticket used it to get to work, 50% used it for daily trips like shopping or going to the doctor, 40% used it to visiting people and 33% used it for day trips. .
“I traveled from Bavaria in the south to Rostock in the north and saw places I might never have bothered to visit otherwise,” Ronald Schenck, 80, told a regional broadcaster . “It saved me a fortune and I had a lot of fun.”
The government and regional administrations are under enormous pressure to continue the ticket in one form or another. Any replacement is expected to cost at least six times as much, but surveys show that enthusiasm for such a program is high.
According to the German Federal Environment Agency, the environmental damage caused by one tonne of CO2 emissions is worth about 180 €. The calculation will be used as an argument for why the government should continue to subsidize a cheap public transport system in the future, campaigners have said, after some officials said it was too expensive to continue it at one time. where the cost of living was skyrocketing.
But critics have cited overcrowded trains and the fact that passengers often cannot bring bikes on board as reasons for not repeating the program. There are also fears that if cheap tickets continue there will be less money available to bolster transport networks, which are particularly poor in rural areas, with interconnection between independent services sometimes non-existent. Ticket sales in rural areas were lowest, which is thought to be due to the low availability of public transport there.
VDV conducted around 6,000 interviews a week – in total around 78,000 – with passengers across the country, working with national rail carrier Deutsche Bahn and marketing research organizations Forsa and RC Research.
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