Mobility: 9-euro ticket as a real alternative? 14 million Germans depend on the car

Business mobility

9 euro ticket as a real alternative? 14 million Germans depend on the car

Bus stop at Sild: In the countryside, there is often a lack of attractive public transport options Bus stop at Sild: In the countryside, there is often a lack of attractive public transport options

Bus stop at Sild: In the countryside, there is often a lack of attractive public transport options

Source: Getty Images/Westend61

There are not only big differences in public transport between city and country, but also in a direct comparison of similar regions. In three non-city states, citizens are better than average connected. Elsewhere, only the private car remains, as this map shows.

Dthe discussion of a continuation of the 9-euro ticket for buses and trains passes a large number of citizens in Germany. For 14 million people in rural areas, public transport is not an alternative to the car because there is a lack of the corresponding offer. This is shown by a new evaluation from Agora Verkehrswende, an organization that is financed by, among other things, climate protection funds.

“For 52 percent of the population, public transport runs every hour at most – for 17 percent even less than every two hours,” says the “ÖV-Atlas”, the current version that Agora has now published. According to the authors, the second group, which includes about 14 million people, depends on private cars.

While the traffic light coalition in Berlin debates whether there should be a follow-up offer to the nationally valid 9-euro ticket for regional transport, the traffic change lobbyists point out that the supply of public transport in Germany is very different. They rate it as “good provision” if “at peak times a bus or train leaves the surrounding bus stops on average at least every 15 minutes”.

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According to the evaluation, 30 percent of citizens in Germany can use such an offer. The calculations are based on 500 million timetable data from all over Germany, which are collected in a public database called Delfi (“continuous electronic passenger information”). Almost all traffic associations have posted their plans there since this year, and there are only a few gaps in the data.

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There are differences in public transport not only between urban and rural areas, but also between comparable rural areas. To clarify this, the authors of the study set the bus and train connections in relation to the number of inhabitants on the one hand and form values ​​in relation to the built-up area (built-up area and traffic area) on the other hand – forests, lakes or fields are not included.

From this they determine the “trip density”, a value that shows how well a region is served by public transport. If you now compare these values ​​for corresponding sparsely or densely populated districts, then you can comment on the quality of the offer.

Source: Infographic WORLD

Result: In Saarland, in large parts of Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, there is an above-average connection to buses and trains. Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, large parts of Lower Saxony, Bavaria and the eastern part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, on the other hand, are poorly served by public transport. The 14 million people living in these regions cannot be mobile without a private car.

The big cities are naturally at the top of the scale: Munich leads in terms of “trip density” ahead of Frankfurt and Berlin, followed directly by Bonn. Hamburg is only in eighth place because the frequency south of the Elbe is less frequent than in the north due to the lack of an underground railway. “In many large cities, one can observe how a good public transport service on the outskirts suddenly ceases and is already significantly worse in the immediate commuter belt,” write the authors.

Berliners cover 42 percent of the distances by public transport

Does more supply mean drivers are switching to buses and trains? “In cities where buses and trains run at least every 10 minutes, more than a quarter of the transport benefit is typically covered by public transport,” the authors write.

However, they must recognize that there is no “rigid correlation between supply and demand”. Frankfurt/Main, Berlin and Heidelberg are all far ahead when comparing the number of trips to the built-up area.

While the inhabitants of the capital use public transport for 42 percent of their journeys, the figure in the other two cities is significantly less than 30 percent. Augsburg and Kiel – almost the same in terms of “travel density” – are also very far apart when it comes to the use of buses and trains: more than 30 percent in the Bavarian city compared to less than 15 percent on Förde. Supply alone does not create demand.

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