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Austria to make KlimaTicket free for 18 year olds: Do cheap tickets encourage public transport use? | Euronews

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the challenges and potential solutions for encouraging more people to use public transport, which is one of the lowest carbon ways to travel. It examines various initiatives and schemes introduced by different countries and cities in Europe to make public transport more accessible and affordable, such as the introduction of "climate tickets" and free public transport for certain groups. The article also highlights the importance of improving public transport infrastructure and services, in addition to reducing costs, to make it a more attractive option for people.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Public Transport Initiatives in Europe

1. What are some of the key public transport initiatives discussed in the article?

  • Austria's KlimaTicket, which will provide a free one-year public transport pass for all 18-year-olds
  • The Deutschlandticket in Germany, a €49 nationwide public transport pass
  • Free public transport schemes in Luxembourg and Montpellier, France
  • The development of "climate tickets" in various European countries, which aim to provide affordable and accessible public transport

2. What are the challenges and limitations of these initiatives?

  • Overcrowding and lack of infrastructure improvements can undermine the effectiveness of reduced-cost or free public transport schemes
  • The Deutschlandticket in Germany is not valid on some city transport networks, limiting its impact
  • The free public transport scheme in Luxembourg failed to encourage a significant shift away from car usage, as many commuters still needed to buy tickets for neighboring countries

3. What are the key factors identified for making public transport more attractive?

  • Affordability, with the recommendation of aiming for around €1 per day for public transport
  • Simplicity of ticketing systems, such as the use of electronic cards that can be used across different modes of transport
  • Improving public transport infrastructure and services to increase capacity and reliability

[02] Evaluating Public Transport Initiatives

1. How did the Greenpeace report evaluate public transport systems across Europe?

  • The report ranked countries and capital cities based on four criteria: simplicity of ticketing systems, affordability of long-term tickets, discounts for socially disadvantaged groups, and VAT rates.
  • The top-scoring countries were Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, Germany, Cyprus, and Spain, while Greece, Croatia, and Bulgaria scored the lowest.
  • In the city rankings, Tallinn (Estonia), Luxembourg, and Valletta (Malta) were the top three, while Amsterdam, London, and Dublin scored the worst for cost and accessibility.

2. What are the key insights from the Greenpeace report's analysis?

  • The "ideal climate ticket" does not yet exist in Europe, as even the relatively good Austrian model is considered too expensive.
  • Reducing the cost of public transport is one of the "easiest and quickest" ways to encourage a shift from cars to trains and buses, but it needs to be combined with improved infrastructure and services.
  • Removing VAT on public transport tickets could be an effective way for governments to make public transport more affordable.
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