In a move which puts them in league with pioneering cities like Tallinn, Estonia, and Seoul, South Korea with its rush-hour cuts, the German government has introduced a new plan to initiate trials in five cities that make public transport services free for all residents. The trials were greeted with generous praise in media around the world as an exceptional effort to support a transition away from private vehicle-based mobility towards a shared system of transport. The trials, listed among a series of measures intended to compensate for Germany’s failure to meet emissions targets in a letter to the EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella, have yet to be detailed beyond the target cities, Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen, and Mannheim, but are planned to be initiated by the end of 2018.

This bold move is seen as a potentially radical change to the transportation systems of the target cities, but its implementation will require careful management to ensure expanded capacity on public transit as well as a considered funding plan to manage the costs, the income from which transit operators currently derive some 50% of their income.

Read more about the German trials

Read about Seoul’s program

Tallinn’s program has been running since 2013

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