Number of public transport users rising in Germany in first half of 2023
Clean Energy Wire / ARD
The number of passengers using inner city public transport increased by 10 percent in Germany in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same period of the previous year, according to the country’s statistical office. Long-distance routes also carried more passengers, with trains seeing an increase of 16 percent and buses of even 89 percent. The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic were still felt at the start of 2022, and the office said that this could partly explain the discrepancy. Compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic, the number of passengers was still 13 percent lower in the same period this year.
In the second quarter of 2023, there were 4 percent more passengers than in the same quarter in 2022, which the office attributes to the introduction of the 9-euro ticket. The ticket, which temporarily allowed travel across the whole country, was introduced to offset rising energy prices. Market analyses suggested that the introduction of the ticket reduced carbon emissions by 1.8 million tonnes. The successor, the 49-euro Deutschland ticket, was implemented earlier this year, and is expected to cost the government an extra 1 billion euros in 2024, broadcaster ARD reported.
Moving towards public transport remains an important part of decarbonising the mobility sector. The Deutschland ticket was found to have not significantly reduced car use, indicating that other interventions will be needed for Germany’s mobility sector to meet its climate targets.