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Baden-Württemberg unveils strategy to get rural citizens out of their cars

Baden-Württemberg unveils strategy to get rural citizens out of their cars

The new public transport plan calls for mobility options available every half-hour in rural areas and every quarter-hour in urban areas

Today, the Minister of Transport in Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Hermann, unveiled a new public transport and mobility strategy. It aims to provide all communities in that state with public transport options, such as trains or buses, from 5 am to midnight. The overarching idea behind the move is to increase mobility, both in urban and rural areas and, ultimately, to get people out of their cars and onto public transport.

Sustainable goals for the future

In practical terms, local authorities aim to get twice as many people on public transport by 2030 as there were in 2010. However, one of the major hurdles they will face is coaxing rural dwellers to leave their cars behind in favour of mass transit.

Transport options through Baden-Württemberg should be scheduled to depart every half-hour in rural areas and every quarter-hour in urban areas. At the same time, buses and trains should be available everywhere from 5 am to midnight.

However, in this electoral term (ending 2026) the state government can realistically strive to provide these transport options only during rush hours.

Costs and taxes

Naturally, a massive mobility solution like this would cost a lot of money. The local government agreed on the first part of the plan. It consists of a state-wide youth ticket, that will be available from the middle of next year. The ticket will cost 365 euros for the citizens, yet, it is estimated to also cost around 100 million euros per year for the state.

On the other hand, the public transport expansion should total 600 million euros. The local government in Baden-Württemberg is proposing a municipal transport tax, to be levied on drivers. Municipalities generally support the mobility expansion, however, their response to the municipal tax proposal was lukewarm.

Alexis von Komorowski, managing director of the district council, told the DPA (German News Agency) that as long as the financial framework has not been defined, the long-term goals of the plan remain unrealistic.

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