Austria tackles air pollution with 90p travel card

vienna travel card

German cities are seeking to reduce car dependency and deadly air pollution by slashing public transport fares. The cost of an annual travel pass in Vienna has already been reduced to 365 euros – the equivalent of 90 pence per day – and now German cities want to follow suit.

The mayors of Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Mannheim and Reutlingen have pledged to strengthen public transport to improve air quality – and they are putting their monies where their mouths are.

Essen and Herrenberg plan to reduce the price of their monthly travel travel passes by 50 per cent.

In Vienna, the one-Euro-per-day policy has more than doubled the numbers using public transport. More folk in Vienna now have a 365-Euro ticket than a car, but the scheme could not have been successful without serious investment; the city invests 400 million euros every year in the network. The cheap travel tickets go had-in-had with stiff penalties for fare evaders – the penalty is 105 euros.

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As a spokesperson for the city’s transport network operator explains: “It’s nice if my ticket is cheap, but if the bus comes only every 20 minutes, that brings nothing.”

Germany’s greenhouse gas reduction goal is more ambitious than that of the European Union, which wants to achieve a 20 per cent cut by 2020 and a 30 per cent cut by 2040. Germany has already reduced its levels by over 27 per cent compared to 1990.

Facing its own stiff target of a 40 per cent in greenhouse gases of 40 per cent by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels),  the German government earlier this year floated the idea of making public transport free in a bid to improve air quality in its cities and while that looks unlikely to happen, the inhabitants in six of its cities look set to benefit not only from cleaner air, but cheaper fares.

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The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Twenty seven years on, we continue to offer home insurancecycle insurancetravel insurance and breakdown cover  while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

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