The German government is considering plans to make public transport free in cities suffering from poor air quality.
The idea was set out in a letter, sent to EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, and was signed by German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt and chancellery chief Peter Altmaier.
Germany has been under pressure from the European Commission, which in January promised to get tough on air quality and threatened to penalise members that breached EU rules on pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.
Click Here: cd universidad catolica
German authorities face legal action because of air quality problems in cities.
In the letter, the authors proposed low emission zones, free public transport to reduce car use, extra incentives for electric cars and technical retrofitting for existing vehicles as long as this is effective and economically feasible.
At a glance | Air Quality Index
They said they would test these measures out in five cities – Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen and Mannheim – before rolling out the most successful measures to all other cities affected.
The authors said they had agreed these measures with Germany’s federal states and municipalities, but Helmut Dedy, the head of the Council of German Cities, said he was surprised by the proposal.
How high is air pollution in your area?
There had been plans for lowering ticket prices in some cities, he said, adding that the federal government would have to finance public transport if it wanted to make it free.
Most local public transport in Germany is owned by municipalities.