T O P
davidty2006

Great success.


dinosaur_of_doom

I think it's a perfect example of the issue with free (or near free) transport though. If the service can't handle it, then it's just not going to be nearly as useful to people as it could be. Service upgrades are generally better than price drops assuming the price wasn't arbitrarily excessive initially. Anyone who actually cannot pay should get a concession. Mainly I just think of politicians doing PR with these kinds of schemes.


LordAnubis12

It's proof though that the people who argue that they'll never get public transport because they love their car are a minority though, and that the majority of people will use what is cheapest and easiest


dinosaur_of_doom

That's a good point, I suppose if it's PR for 'look, people will use the service!' and then use that to drive upgrades to the service it'll be quite a good thing.


LordAnubis12

Yeah exactly, justifies further investment


lIIllIIlllIIllIIl

Then you have cities like Montréal doing everything wrong. The Montréal subway has seen a 44% decrease in ridership since the beginning of the pandemic, mostly due to home office. Their solution? __Decrease service and increase fares!__ Hooray for for-profit transit /s (seriously, what's with the double standard? Why is everyone fine with governments spending billions of tax money to build and maintain roads for people to use their cars, but if public transit doesn't make a profit, it's seen as a failure?)


Eurynom0s

> Why is everyone fine with governments spending billions of tax money to build and maintain roads for people to use their cars, but if public transit doesn't make a profit, it's seen as a failure? Because people don't realize how heavily subsidized driving is. They just know they spend a lot of money on it--carp payments, insurance, gas, registration--so they assume they must be paying their own way. Which leads to thinking transit riders are getting a sweetheart deal.


dinosaur_of_doom

That's a shame, my impression was that Montreal valued it's metro quite a lot. Hopefully service gets restored..


lIIllIIlllIIllIIl

Montréal does, but the provincial government doesn't really, and they're the ones in charge of funding transportation projects. Out of a $136.6 billion provincial budget, $6.3 billion goes to transportation. Only $1.9 (30.4%) billion goes to public transit. For roads, a whopping $3.33 billion (76%) goes to maintaining old roads and the remaining $1.05 billion goes to new projects. The greater Montréal public transit systems are also very poorly integrated with every municipality having its own public transit system that strangely tries to compete with each others. Each municipality has its own fare and cross-municipality tickets are expensive ($10 to $17 for a round-trip ticket instead of $6.5). Most suburbs just want to have "their fair share" of revenue from the suckers who need to use public transit, and that's it. The provicincial government has a _laisser-faire_ attitude about the whole thing which doesn't help.


Dreadfulmanturtle

I think it's not clear whether this is how it would stay. Government lowered the prices starting on certain date for limited time. Of course that there is going to be initial spike of usage. I'd be much more curious to see what would happen after 6 months of the same.


boilerpl8

Unfortunately I think this program will only be 90 days. Hopefully they extend it indefinitely and also pump money into service upgrades (better frequency would be my #1 choice, but coverage might help too).


Afraid_Foot

I think I would use the train every weekend if it were that cheap and actually went to a place I wanted to go. Could tour around for almost no money, just brink a bika and a tent and find a place to camp at your destination.


robben1234

I have been living in Berlin car free since last year, relying on a yearly public transport ticket. After the pandemic subsided trains started running full again making it less comfortable. Even on lines with 2-3 mins intervals. This whole 9 euro thing is stress testing the system and render it unusable to me. Finally made the decision to buy the car next month.


Wehrmachtsgespann

Warte ab das wird schon noch entspannter


[deleted]

Lol. Okay. Have you ever driven in Berlin? I guarantee you, that's even less fun than being on an overcrowded train. Plus it takes a lot longer and is a lot more expensive.


robben1234

I did exchange my license and used carsharing to haul stuff, as well as go on a few road trips to nearby cities. The car free part is that I didn't own one. And went for weeks without thinking I need one. Compared to Kyiv or even Kropyvnytskyi from where I'm from, driving in Germany is much more enjoyable. What Berliners call a big traffic jam to me looks like a regular afternoon at home. The gas prices are crazy though. But I guess no money is worth spending hours in overcrowded trains feeling like tuna in a jar.


[deleted]

>What Berliners call a big traffic jam to me looks like a regular afternoon at home. While that may be true, there is no point in comparing traffic in Berlin to traffic in Kyiv. What you have to compare is the time you need to get to your destination by car to the time it takes to get there by public transport (or bicycle, for that matter). And public transport or cycling is almost always faster, at least during the day. Especially if you include the time it takes to find a parking spot. Driving in Berlin just doesn't make sense unless you need to haul something. It's slower than public transport or cycling plus while the traffic jams might be less bad than in other cities they are still pretty annoying. Not to forget that it's also more expensive. Car ownership costs on average 350€ per month in Germany, all things included. A public transport ticket costs 80€ in Berlin. I'm happy to deal with some packed trains if it saves me time and about 270€ per month. That's such a no brainer for me...


CartmansEvilTwin

Not really. De facto this move made almost every form of public transportation free - including regional trains - from one day to the next. "Regional" can still mean 500km, though. Obviously the transportation system can't handle that surge in demand.


jginar

Well yeah… what did you expect. Better put the same money into expending service than into subsidies for tourists and Plauschfahrers.


Carlos_Caracas

There are around 600 affiliated companies under the umbrella of Deutsche Bahn AG. They making more revenue with there truck logistic company DB Schenker than all the other businesses. They doing allot, except getting people in Germany from A to B in a reasonable time and with trains that aren't completely broken and late. Since 1994 about 6000 kilometers of tracks are being closed but from 2003 until 2015 about 500 Million more passengers used the Bahn. The employees are overworked and always annoyed and the company is more in depth than the state railway ever was. The 9€ ticket cause this broken train system to collapse in it's entirety. Neoliberal policies are such a success, yeah! /s


Wehrmachtsgespann

Kaputt gespart


Typ_mit_Playse

Idk I don't remember ever using trains here going to holiday destinations when holidays started or on warm weekends that were not crowded. Lol what a surprise..typical attention catching headline without substance


rileyoneill

How much are ticket prices normally? My local Metrolink from Riverside to Los Angeles is like $13 and it doesn't get a ton of use, not as much as you would think anyway. I was under the impression that tickets in Europe were fairly cheap.


[deleted]

This 9€ ticket is valid for a whole month and allows you to use any type of regional train, bus, ferry, tram etc. throughout the whole country. Only type of transport you can't use are long distance/high speed trains. Since a regular ticket exactly like that doesn't exist I can't tell you how much it would normally be. But suffice to say, it would be a lot more expensive than 9€. For reference a ticket just for public transport in Berlin costs roundabout 80€ for a month. And now you get public transport in the whole country for 9€. As for tickets in Europe being fairly cheap... depends on what you compare it to. Like I said, public transport in Berlin is 80€ per month, which is certainly cheap compared to owning a car. Then again long distance trains often end up being more expensive than driving (if you own a car anyways). Sometimes even more expensive than flying (depending on when you book). So, yeah, I'm not sure what to say. Tickets aren't ridiculously expensive but I wouldn't call them cheap.


rileyoneill

Oh wow. A month pass on our metrolink is like $450 per month and that is basically just one commuter train that is pretty limited and would only be practical for someone who does that commute daily. It doesn't get you access to much else. The bus pass is like $60 per month and that is for a level of service that is 'meh' at most.


[deleted]

Whitsun weekend always means overcrowded trains. People getting kicked off trains because they're overcrowded happens on Whitsun weekend in Germany EVERY YEAR. Just google for newspaper articles from last year or any random year in the last ten or twenty years. Only difference is that in a normal year nobody cares. This year there was just extra attention on it because it was also the first weekend in the 9€ ticket era and a lot of people who never paid attention to public transport before now think the overcrowding happened because of the 9€ ticket. But it didn't. It happens every year (and not just on Whitsun weekend but every holiday weekend and even some random sunny weekends when everyone and their grandma decide to take a day trip and take their bikes on the train...) So yeah, the problem exists. But it has existed for years. Maybe the 9€ ticket exacerbated it a little but in any case the problem isn't the 9€ ticket but the fact that our regional train infrastructure is crumbling and we barely invest enough money to keep it going beyond the bare minimum.


Josquius

Good evidence that the optimal price runs north of 9 euros. Then again with this as just a one off its hardly going to be representative.


[deleted]

It was also a public holiday weekend and it was warm and sunny. So half the population was travelling and visiting family while the other half went on day trips to the countryside to enjoy the warm weather. Trains are always overcrowded on weekends like that. Besides that: why would the optimal price be north of 9 euros? I mean, that assumes that we don't want more people using trains. But we do. What we need isn't more expensive tickets, it's more trains.


Josquius

There's your answer. There are a limited number of trains. If there were infinite trains then sure, make them free, but there aren't so might as well earn some money to fund running them.


[deleted]

You realise that we can build more trains, right? At the moment we are putting massive amounts of money into car infrastructure and into fixing environmental and health damage caused by cars. Imagine the amount of railway infrastructure we could fund instead.


Josquius

With what money? On what land? There's a practical limit to that too even assuming the political will is absolutely there. Charging for using the train is inevitable without a massive overhaul in how economics fundamentally work.


[deleted]

Like I said, the money is there. We are just spending it on car infrastructure and the external costs of car use right now. We also seem to be able to find the land to build more highways without a problem. Besides that I'm not saying trains should be free. I'm fine with tickets costing money. But that is simply not the point here. Ticket revenue will never fully cover the cost of train infrastructure just like fuel taxes have never covered the full cost of car infrastructure. Somehow we have always been fine with that but when it comes to trains people suddenly find that unacceptable... go figure.


Aquatic-Enigma

Proof for great demand