Germany's popular 9-euro public transport ticket a boon for climate action - market analysis
Clean Energy Wire
The popularity of Germany’s temporary 9-euro public transport ticket has not only shown that people are willing to embrace public transport and stop using their cars if such tickets became permanently accessible, but has also led to a dramatic decrease in CO2 emissions, according to a market analysis carried out by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), railway group Deutsche Bahn and research institutes Forsa and RC Research on behalf of the federal and state governments. Based on trips that shifted from passenger cars to buses and trains, the 9-euro ticket saved around 1.8 million tonnes of CO2. “Three months of a 9-euro ticket saved about as much CO2 as a year-long speed limit on the autobahn would have,” said VDV managing director Oliver Wolff. "So the 9-euro ticket not only relieved citizens financially, but also had a clearly positive effect on the climate.”
The research found that 10 percent of trips made with the 9-euro ticket replaced a journey that would have otherwise been made by car. Overall, low-cost public transport replaced 17 percent of journeys by other means of transport. “Solutions must now be developed that expand and strengthen local and regional transport in urban and rural areas,” said city's state Bremen's transport senator Maike Schaefer, who also chairs the federal states’ Conference of Transport Ministers (VMK). “This is only possible on the basis of long-term and secure financing that makes public transport efficient in the long term and affordable for everyone. The federal government in particular is called upon here." The government made the 9-euro ticket available between June and August in an effort to offset rising fuel costs. Since the start of sales in May, around 52 million tickets have been sold.
Meanwhile, an alliance of civil societies advocating a socially acceptable mobility transition is likewise demanding a comprehensive follow-up solution from the federal and state governments to expand and finance public transport and continue the 9-euro ticket. The alliance, which includes environmental groups and trade unions, among them the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), said: “An inexpensive ticket must be offered immediately as a priority for the people who depend on it. Especially people without, or with low, income were given access to mobility with the 9-euro ticket over the summer. This clearly shows the potential of an attractive tariff for public transport and thus for an urgently needed mobility transition.”