Future-fit city: Much more money needed for buses and trains
Only a systematic phase-out of subsidies will free up enough money to make local public transport attractive
Air pollution, noise, traffic jams, too few green spaces – these are the problems that plague many people living in cities. In a new publication the German Environment Agency (UBA) paints a picture of how the future-fit city might look, one where there is little noise, it is green and in which people are mobile through environmentally friendly means of transport. The core element of this "future-fit city" is a well-developed public transport network, in addition to pedestrian and cycle traffic, and electric driverless car sharing. UBA’s President Maria Krautzberger said: "Clean air, quiet and more green spaces in cities are only possible with more buses and trains and fewer cars. The public transport network is the backbone of urban mobility, but it must be strengthened and, in particular, be adequately financed. We will be successful when we finally phase out environmentally harmful subsidies and reallocate those funds to local public transport." And it is entirely possible: environmentally harmful subsidies for the transport sector currently amount to more than 28 billion euros per year, whereas an efficient local public transport network would cost only about eleven billion euros per year (according to the Association of German Transport Companies - VDV).