Germany’s €9 flat rate affected mobility as strongly as coronavirus pandemic – survey
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s 9 euro nationwide public transport ticket, which will end next week, affected mobility behaviours as much as the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey by the German Aerospace Center DLR, which also conducts transport research. “Public transport received a strong boost, the dramatic decline in public transport was stopped, at least during the summer months,” DLR said. “The 9-Euro-ticket shows that mobility behaviour can be changed by a simple and clearly understandable offer, low prices and extended validity in nationwide regional transport,” said Meike Jipp, director of the DLR Institute for transport research. She added the pandemic-related trend towards more car use could be stopped over the summer. “In order for these changes to be longer-term and to increasingly include other everyday journeys in addition to the leisure sector, good and equally simple offers for public transport are needed in the future.”
Almost half of survey respondents used public transport when the €9 ticket was available. Of those, 28 percent already used the new flat rate, and a further 4 percent were planning to do so. Twenty percent used their existing season tickets. “Therefore, ownership of season tickets doubled about one month after the introduction of the €9 euro ticket,” DLR said. “The 9-euro-ticket has had a similarly strong effect on mobility behaviour as the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, only in the opposite direction.”
In July, transport minister Volker Wissing said he was willing to consider a follow-up alternative to the 9-euro ticket, but not before the end of the year, when more data becomes available on the success of the scheme. The increased use of rail for transport of fossil fuels, as Germany prepares for gas shortages over the coming months, means that commuters will also likely face greater rail disruptions and congestion as priority is set to be given to fuel deliveries.