Free Public Transport for Berlin: Pros & Cons
Since 2013 public transport in the Estonian capital Tallinn is free of charge, ever since there is a debate that if Berlin should try the same model. Here I have some reasons in my mind to support the idea. Keeping the above said example in mind, the first argument, which is also quite obvious is the environmental protection. If the the public transport will be free, it is also attractive for others who currently are using their own cars. Pedestrians and cyclists will also consider it and this will lead us to less traffic accidents.
But of course to keep it chaos free the current network of rail tracks has to be expanded so that it should not turn Berlin into Tokyo during the rush hours. And this can be financed by saving money which is currently being spent on the maintenance of ticket machines and on the salaries of inspectors. In addition, even higher parking fees can be introduced, with which the city traffic is cross-financed. Plus, many of these places in Berlin that are being served only as parking lots so far will be available for public life.
The switch from the currently expensive fares to free bus and rail transport seems utopian, but is possible and can be achieved step by step. The gradual reduction of the fare, the de-privatization of the railway transport and means of support of the local authorities would create a driving environment, in which no one is excluded or be afraid to be controlled.
In Tallinn, tourists still have to pay the regular price to use public transport. So what about Berlin? Should we go for the same model or even let the tourists enjoy our free public transport as well? If we include tourists then Berlin would become an even more favorite tourist town. However, the city is already kinda crowded.
By sharing this small thought with my fellow Berliners I would love to know what you think about it. Please cast your vote below of leave a comment with your idea or opinion.
As a student of literature and being an incipient journalist Samuela is always up to discover new things around her. She writes about topics such as equality, justice and politics in Berlin.