Local public transport: impetus for new transport services |

Berlin (dpa) – Car-free mobility is something outside of metropolitan areas: in the countryside, buses and trains across the republic are often scarce. It doesn’t attract as many passengers, and the cycles are more likely to thin out.

To get out of this spiral, local public transport (ÖPNV) should finally become more attractive on all fronts; this is now the stake in the legislative elections for all parties. Hopes are raised by new offers of orders via mobile phone. Consumer advocates are calling for improvements, especially given the move towards greater climate protection in traffic.

The chairman of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv), Klaus Müller, told the German news agency: “If we are talking about climate-friendly mobility, local public transport has to change. Municipalities need to guarantee a minimum supply – in rural areas far greater than what can be found in many places today. To do this, you need more demand-oriented digital offerings. “This means that when I need it, I order a larger shared taxi that picks me up and takes me where I want to go.” This is also the case in the evening, on weekends or during school holidays, when there is hardly any local transport, especially in rural areas.

“Creative digital offers” are requested

A new legal framework for new driving services is now in place. A law from Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) allows regular offers where you can use the app to reserve a seat in small buses or vans from anywhere. Others can make the trip. So far, providers have evolved with exception rules. At the same time, conventional taxis and public bus and train services need to be protected. For transport service providers such as Uber, specifications are provided which municipalities can define. There is always a “return obligation” for their cars: they must first return to the company headquarters after a customer trip and – unlike taxis – they are not allowed to wait in the street or to be carried away. greet.

“We need creative digital offers,” said Müller, consumer advocate. “At first, they can only be used by part of the population. But I think people will be convinced if it’s affordable, simple, and ultimately even more convenient than it is today. “In terms of price, it’s something between a taxi and a taxi. bus ticket – with the added value of booking “on demand.” Good safety and social security standards are also important for new providers. ”So far, however, we have not had too many competition and diversity in public transport. “

Mobility in electoral programs

Sometimes there are far-reaching plans in party election manifestos. Looking ahead to 2030, the SPD cites a “guarantee of mobility” as an objective: everyone in town and in the countryside should therefore have a “local connection to public transport”. To this end, network mobility offers must be used via digital platforms. Investments must be made in trains and buses, and old railways must be reactivated. In addition to tighter frequencies and area-wide WiFi, seat reservations – as in the ICE – should be possible.

The Union formulates the objective of “guaranteeing everywhere a basic public transport offer adapted to needs, including in rural areas”. To this end, a “national minimum standard” should be created. Attractive concepts aim to combine individual motorized traffic and local public transport – for example, by integrating solar charging stations for cars, electric scooters and electric bicycles in the “Park & ​​Ride” offers.

According to the program, the Greens want to double the number of passengers on public transport by 2030. To this end, the federal government must launch an “expansion offensive” with the federal states, and a “mobility guarantee” is to create nationwide connections. A “mobile pass” is intended to link the offers of 120 transport and tariff associations nationwide and to integrate new public transport services so as to exclude social and environmental dumping.

The FDP wants to create “a level playing field for all providers of mobility services”. “We keep an eye on the special role of public transport,” the program specifies. The “return obligation” for new transport services and the minimum distance of 50 kilometers between two long-distance bus stops should be abolished.

The left writes in the program: “No one should be dependent on their (own) car. The objective is “free public transport financed by solidarity for all”. The first steps are cheaper rates. New mobility offers should only be available under public authority in the context of local transport. A “guarantee of mobility” is required for rural areas: connection of towns to each other and to the nearest urban center at least every hour from 6 am to 10 pm.

The AfD opposes “ideologically driven ban policies” that favor or discriminate against means of transport. A better developed and coordinated local and long-distance rail network is needed for the railroad. Punctuality, safety, cleanliness and “optimal timing” of buses and trains as well as networking with air traffic are important.

Consumer advocate Müller also refers to fundamental change. “All parties who are in favor of greater climate protection are in favor of higher CO2 pricing. But this means that driving with internal combustion engines will be more expensive. This is why it is so important to think about how to make public transport more attractive. At the same time, the boss of the vzbv underlined: “We will need and will have individual mobility with cars for a long time to come. I caution against planning beyond people’s public transport needs, as many will only change when they have a good alternative. “

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