Travel and Tourism

Germany is trialing a plan for free public transport in polluted cities

The Deutsche Bahn main train station "Hauptbahnhof" in Frankfurt, Germany, March 15, 2017.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Germany might make public transport free in some cities in order to combat rising air pollution levels. Image: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Reuters Staff
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Travel and Tourism?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Travel and Tourism is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Travel and Tourism

The German government is considering plans to make public transport free in cities suffering from air quality problems, according to a letter seen by Reuters, which also outlines more conventional measures such as low emissions zones.

The letter, sent to EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, was signed by German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt and chancellery chief Peter Altmaier.

Germany has been under pressure from the European Commission, which in January promised to get tough on air quality and threatened to penalize members that breached EU rules on pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.

German authorities face legal action because of air quality problems in cities.

In the letter, the authors proposed low emission zones, free public transport to reduce car use, extra incentives for electric cars and technical retrofitting for existing vehicles as long as this is effective and economically feasible.

They said they would test these measures out in five cities - Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen and Mannheim - before rolling out the most successful measures to all other cities affected.

The authors said they had agreed these measures with Germany’s federal states and municipalities, but Helmut Dedy, the head of the Council of German Cities, said he was surprised by the proposal.

Have you read?

There had been plans for lowering ticket prices in some cities, he said, adding that the federal government would have to finance public transport if it wanted to make it free.

Most local public transport in Germany is owned by municipalities.

Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Travel and TourismFuture of the Environment
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Turning tourism into development: Mitigating risks and leveraging heritage assets

Abeer Al Akel and Maimunah Mohd Sharif

February 15, 2024

1:17

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum