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Free public transport in Leipzig to combat cars
Photo: DPA

Free public transport in Leipzig to combat cars

Published: 10 Apr 2012 11:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Apr 2012 11:37 GMT+02:00

The eastern German city of Leipzig began a four-day offer of free public transport to drivers Tuesday in a bid to get them out of their cars for good.

Citing high petrol prices, traffic jams and greenhouse gas emissions as deterrents to taking cars to work, local bus, rail and tram service providers banded together to offer what they called a better option to commuters.

"Because we can provide a true alternative, we are telling drivers to leave their cars at home and get on public transport," Ulf Middelberg of the Leipzig Transport Service said.

"Commuters who use us regularly have already made the right decision. Now we would like to invite drivers to use us for four days after Easter at no cost and without stress."

During the promotion called "Down with the Petrol Price Insanity - Time to Switch," drivers and their family members can present a car registration instead of a bus or rail ticket.

Leipzig, a city of about 500,000 about 150 kilometres south-west of Berlin, is the first German city to make the offer.

German petrol prices hit a record high last week. A litre of premium petrol currently costs about €1.70.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:55 April 10, 2012 by wood artist
I'm not sure how many people will change, but this is a great idea and I applaud their willingness to try. Hope it improves ridership.

wa
13:47 April 10, 2012 by frankiep
Interesting idea, but I doubt that the vast majority of people who drive do so because the price of paying to ride public transportation is too high. I think that people who drive rather than use public transit do so because it is more convenient (you can come and go when you want), more comfortable (not having somebody who is allergic to soap and water sitting next to you all the way to and from work), more reliable (don't have to contend with the numerous strikes and outages which seem to happen here with greater regularity), and safer, especially if you have to frequently work late hours.
20:32 April 10, 2012 by frankiep
It's free for just FOUR DAYS. Says it right there in the first sentence of the article.

Now, what was that about reading the article properly?
01:46 April 11, 2012 by mikecowler
No transport is free except walking...how,s it funded...How are the employees wages paid? Wondered why i havn,t read the local for a while, with articles like this thanks for reminding me!
14:24 April 13, 2012 by Bigbobswinden
I am amazed that German petrol costs much the same as Britain, ours is 80% tax and I thought other countries governments were not as greedy as ours. I now know better.
14:25 April 13, 2012 by MiriamSPia
I agree that the main reasons citizens use cars and trucks over mass transit despite the costs are:

1) convenience and control - drivers have more of both.

2) social status - in many nations wealthier classes, everyone except the poor, often frown upon families who do not own cars. It is even used to prevent employment in some cases.

3) power to transport loads - this might be 'the kids' to and from school or sports practice but it can also be other simple things such as a week's worth of groceries at once.

4) power - vehicles are very powerful and once people handle that kind of power, whether male or female, they often do not want to give it up.
15:32 April 13, 2012 by jabulani
Good for Germany and Leipzig to be PROACTIVE trying to give people a choice !

At least if the trial fails it is not due to the government but to the people themselves.

There should be more education about CONSUMERISM and the consumers society as our young are brain washed by TV /Magazines adverts.

We should be valued for what WE are...and not for what we drive/dress/etc.
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