Free public transport just one option for cities to curb pollution – government
The German government has no concrete plans to make public transport free of charge. The government proposal of free public transport, contained in a letter to the EU aiming at avoiding financial penalties for exceeding pollutions limits, is just one suggestion for individual municipalities to improve air quality temporarily, environment spokesperson Gabriel Haufe told journalists at a weekly government press conference. The cities put forward in the letter should test measures for cleaner air, Haufe said. “For example, that could mean a significant roll-out of electric mobility offerings, or making public transport temporarily free […] the municipalities can decide for themselves what to do.” Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said it would be the incoming government's responsibility to find an agreement on how to finance the measures.
The German government told the EU it is considering making public transport free of charge in polluted cities. Many initial press reports suggested the government considered permanently free public transport, with blanket coverage.
Find background in the updated CLEW article German cities might test free public transport to cut pollution.