Germany has proposed to reduce road traffic, and improve air quality, by making all public transport free. German ministers stated that their reasons for considering this proposal were to “reduce the number of private cars” and that “effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany”. The proposal will be tested by the end of this year in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn, and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.
If this scheme were to be rolled out nationwide it could prove pivotal in improving air quality in Germany, which is a topic of particular concern as they are currently struggling to meet EU air pollution targets and are now facing heavy fines. However, for this scheme to succeed on a nationwide scale, improvements would have to be made to the current public transport infrastructure. This would include purchasing more public transport vehicles, as the current amount of electric buses and trains would be insufficient to satisfy a large increase in demand.