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Germany gives green light to €49-a-month public transport ticket

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A follow-up to Germany’s immensely popular €9 (£7.90) monthly public transport ticket scheme has been given the green light in the Bundestag, in a move aimed at getting passengers to switch to greener forms of transport.Parliamentarians on Thursday voted to approve plans to introduce a €49-a-month ticket covering regional rail, metro, trams and bus travel across Germany.The vote in parliament cleared the way for the national government to cover half of the scheme’s annual cost of €3bn for the next three years, with the other half paid for by Germany’s 16 federal states.If, as expected, the €49 ticket is given the seal of approval by the German parliament’s upper house, the Bundesrat, on 31 March, the scheme will come into effect on 1 May.The transport minister, Volker Wissing, hailed the new ticket scheme as a “role model for the whole of Europe” that would boost public transport use.

Wissing, of the liberal Free Democratic party (FDP), has been under fire over the transport sector’s failure to meet carbon reduction targets.The original €9-a-month ticket scheme was put in place from June to the end of August last year to incentivise travellers to switch to greener forms of transport and give financial relief to consumers facing a cost of living crisis.

With about half of Germany’s adult population having taking part in the scheme that the government subsidised with €2.5bn, the ticket was as popular as it was inexpensive.Whether it had a significant positive impact on the environment has been questioned: most Germans used the €9 ticket to travel around the country for leisure, while there has been little statistical evidence showing that those who commute by car changed their transport routines in any meaningful way.The

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