Germany mulls over offering free public transit to improve air quality
Air pollution levels in Germany are high according to EU standards. In order to improve air quality and encourage people to limit their car usage, the German government is planning to offer free public transit. Since a lot of people in the country own diesel vehicles, the move would mean reduction in particulate and Nitrogen dioxide emissions.
According to Die Welt, the program would take place in a number of smaller cities- “Bonn, Essen, Reutlingen, Mannheim and the town of Herrenberg which is south of Stuttgart — one of Germany’s most heavily polluted cities.”
However, one of the biggest issues is that cities would need to beef up their public transportation fleets with more buses and streetcars — and eco-friendly ones at that — to accommodate the anticipated rise in passengers. “It doesn’t make sense to use more diesel buses of course,” the city of Bonn spokeswoman told DW, adding: “We don’t know of any manufacturer that would be able to deliver so many electric buses on such short notice.”