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Would you park your car for a free bus ride?

The Local · 10 Apr 2012, 15:27

Published: 10 Apr 2012 15:27 GMT+02:00

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In a bid to get people out of their cars and onto the bus, tram or train, Leipzig is the first city in Germany to run the ambitious campaign, which they have called “Down with the Petrol Price Insanity - Time to Switch.”

For the rest of the week, people can present a car registration form instead of a ticket and get on buses, trains and trams across the city.

The city says the public transport on offer is a viable alternative to the expense of running a car, not to mention traffic jams and environmental considerations.

But is the tram a replacement for a car? Critics might say that a few free days of travel will not be enough to get car owners to leave the privacy and practicality of their own four wheels – especially when faced with delays and bad weather.

Could free public transport get you out of your car? How good would the buses, trams and trains have to be - and how much would you be prepared to pay, either via taxes or for tickets? Have your say below.

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Your comments about this article

17:58 April 10, 2012 by canadianinberlin
Damn right I would.
18:23 April 10, 2012 by Englishted
I start work at 5.30 in the morning ,there are no buses then and if you work nights you must use a car.

So this would be a subsidised bus service for the 9 to 5 workers .
20:39 April 10, 2012 by frankiep
No way, for the simple reason that it takes too long. I work 10 hours a day as it is, not including 45 mins. to an hour commuting each way. I would have to add another hour on to my daily commute to factor in walking to and from stops at each end. Plus, my car runs according to my schedule, doesn't smell like rancid body odor, and doesn't go on strike.
21:08 April 10, 2012 by The-ex-pat
In a word, NO!

To be on time for early shift I would have to arrive at work the evening before. For Late shift I would have to leave early morning to arrive on time. For night shift, I could, but would not get home until around midday. The trip would involve taking a train to my next town, changing for a train for the closest town to my work. Then a bus to the closest stop to my work and then the remaining 2km would have to be by foot. So no, I would not.
08:10 April 11, 2012 by Herr Ed
On some days I would, even though it adds a half hour each way to my daily commute. Some good tunes on my mp3 player and/or a good book would help make that a little more palatable.

There are some days that you just can't avoid driving. When I know I have meetings in other areas of the city I prefer to drive so I have a little more flexibility with my schedule. But with the price of gas going through the roof, a reduced price for mass transportation would be a good incentive for me to park the car at least a few days a week.
12:29 April 11, 2012 by Sayer
I already drive the considerable distance to the train, as I refuse to sit in traffic for two hours each way every day to cover the last 35km. Free trains would be just super!
05:39 April 13, 2012 by rfwilson
Sayer... "Free trains would be just super! "

So would free cars!

But there is no such thing as "free". You just pay for it in higher taxes.
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