Why the citizen ticket is coming soon…

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Kai Gondlach

Since the Greens Berlin are now very intensively dealing with the topic of “citizen ticket” and are also publicly announcing this, there was a forsa survey, which was commissioned by the stern. According to this, “48 percent of German citizens support this proposal if the levy were significantly cheaper than a season ticket. About the same number, 47 percent, reject it.” (Press release on the free public transport Gruner+Jahr, Stern). That is a lot more supporters than I would have expected. The often not particularly well thought-out reservations about a flat fee have always prevailed in the media coverage. This may be due to the fact that voices are often very selective.

Free public transport / citizen ticket in Berlin

The concept of the citizens’ ticket of the Green Berlin provides that all Berliners can pay a monthly mobility fee of 15 euros and then use public transport “free of charge”. Excluded, of course, are children, the elderly and the socially weak. In order to regulate traffic at peak times in the morning and evening hours, Berliners also have to redeem (highly discounted) tickets during this time.

That sounds quite good. The weakness is yet to come: tourists or Commuters from outside still have to draw a ticket. However, this ignores the enormous savings effect of the abolition of the distribution system (ticket machines and their maintenance, tickets, ticket controllers…), which accounts for up to 10% of sales for transport companies.

Step back: Benefits from more public transport

The whole positive effects of a significant strengthening of public transport and/or There would probably still be a shift of private transport to public transport. I have already described these (and many others) in detail elsewhere, but here is a short list:

  • fewer cars on the roads
  • less congestion
  • less pollutant emissions
  • less noise
  • fewer accidents (car vs. Car, Car vs. cyclists and pedestrians)
  • less land use due to transport
  • overall a more positive balance of the transport sector

… many other follow-up effects, such as improved punctuality of all road users = higher overall productivity; quality of life in cities; less noise and pollutant-induced diseases = lower costs for the solidarity health system; lower total cost of the transport system, as it is distributed in solidarity – not to mention the externalised costs…
To put it in a nutshell, everyone would have something to do with this development, including cyclists and motorists. Comments like “Everyone pays my rent, whether they live there or not.” (Source: Facebook page of the Berliner Morgenpost) are simply not effective.

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