Weird News BVG mandatory ticket for everyone: an enticing idea - but unfair and unaffordable for many

09:40  12 june  2020
09:40  12 june  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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A mandatory ticket for all Berliners? Rather, more tax money should flow into local transport and the city toll should come. A commentary on the financing of public transport.

Woher soll das Geld für besseren Nahverkehr kommen? © Photo: imago / Frank Sorge Where should the money for better local transport come from?

trains and buses are the safest form of transport, at least for the passengers. Politically, the risk of accidents is enormous, as the response to a study now published on behalf of the Berlin traffic administration shows.

The question was how the public transport financing - which had previously consisted of grants and ticket income - could be expanded to generate money for better offers. One answer in the study is “Citizens' Ticket” - called “mandatory levy” by critics.

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A BVG corporate ticket agreement can be signed by a company, acting as the employer, and the BVG . Tickets for bicycles are only valid in combination with a valid VBB ticket . Bicycles can be taken on S-Bahn and underground trains, on Deutsche Bahn local railways and on trams in carriages

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, confronted with a multimillion-dollar budget deficit, is considering enacting mandatory entry fees as a way to increase revenue.Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times.

The idea of ​​providing all Berliners with an annual public transport ticket sounds tempting, but is problematic for two reasons.

On the one hand, because - apart from the hopefully only temporary Corona dent - the supply could not keep up with the foreseeable rising demand: the procurement of new trains takes at least five years, the expansion of routes rather 20 (and the bus system in Spandau, for example has already reached its growth limits).

30 to 35 euros per month would already be too expensive for many

The even more sensitive point is the cost that is up for debate. Even halved annual ticket tariffs, i.e. 30 to 35 euros per month, would hardly be manageable as a mandatory levy for many - and, moreover, unfair. Because why should cyclists or pedestrians pay as much as frequent public transport?

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[Mobility in the growing city: We also regularly report on traffic issues in our people's newsletters from the twelve districts of Berlin. You can order the newsletter free of charge here: people.tagesspiegel.de ]

You would rightly feel ripped off - at the same time, you would be invited to take the bus you paid for, which was supposed to lure drivers and not those who are already environmentally friendly.

A fairer alternative to the "public transport head allowance" is also the more obvious one: more tax money. So more of those who have a lot; the principle is well known.

Higher parking fees in the city are necessary.

The fact that the study commissioned before the corona crisis is now being completed, because thousands fear for its existence and public transport is a potential source of infection, should make the discussion more difficult. But it is still necessary, because good public transport is a classic public service and more important than ever in view of the enormous damage caused by inner-city car traffic.

It is necessary to make it more expensive - above all through higher parking fees, because the space in the city center is too precious to be used as storage space for car masses. There is also something interesting in the study that must now be discussed.

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