German calculations: ultra-cheap summer tickets have

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Germany’s ultra-cheap public transport ticket experiment, which ran over three summer months, reduced carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by an amount equivalent to the emissions caused by powering around 350,000 homes for a year , show calculations made by a German transport association and cited by Bloomberg.

The 9 euro monthly ticket, in return for which passengers could travel throughout Germany, on regional trains, subways, trams and buses, saved 1.8 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, under the conditions that commuters did not use their cars as much, according to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), which campaigns for the use of public passenger transport.

The program in which the €9 ticket, valid for a whole month, came into force in June and will end on August 31. According to the authorities, its purpose was to help the population overcome the shock caused by inflation, amid the massive increase in energy and fuel prices, a phenomenon triggered mainly by the war started by Russia by invading Ukraine.

Although concerns have been raised about the program’s funding and overcrowding of transport networks, several German politicians have expressed the view that the subsidy should be extended in one form or another.

“We need to find a solution for this experiment to continue, in a convincing and sustainable way, to continue to ease the burden of inflation for citizens who depend on public transport, in these times when all prices and fares are increasing,” said Petra Berg, Minister of Environment and Mobility of Saarland, a state in the west of the country.

During the three months the program was in place, around 52 million tickets were sold, and one in ten buyers said they had given up at least one of their daily car journeys, according to a statement from the Association of German Transport Companies. .

The data was drawn from a government-commissioned survey of a large sample of 78,000 subjects, carried out in collaboration with German Railways (Deutsche Bahn AG) and implemented by polling institutes Forsa and RC Research.

Despite the positive consequences of the program, Germany’s transport sector has been accused of falling short of its environmental targets, missing carbon dioxide emissions targets by around 3 million tonnes last year, increasing pressure on the federal government to find more many ways to reduce emissions.

A hotly contested measure, which the federal authorities have launched into public debate, would be to impose a speed limit on motorways, but Transport Minister Volker Wissing reiterated the ruling coalition’s rejection of such a measure, even though the country going through an energy crisis.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday, he said the move would only divide society at a time when Germany needs solidarity the most.