Germans bahn together against climate change
It’s Friday, January 3, and a German railway company is trying to get all aboard.
Germany knows climate change is the “wurst.” That’s why Deutsche Bahn, the largest railway operator in Europe, is slashing its long-distance rail fares.
Starting this year, folks traveling more than 31 miles on the company’s Intercity Express trains can expect to pay 10 percent less for their tickets. Deutsche Bahn has also reduced the prices on special offers and made it easier for commuters to bring their bicycles aboard.
Deutsche Bahn’s price cuts are a trickle-down effect from the German government cutting its consumption tax on rail travel from 19 percent to just 7 percent. The goal of the tax cut, part of a larger package of climate protection measures passed last year, is to encourage more people to take the train instead of driving or flying.
Deutsche Bahn says the price reductions could attract 5 million more passengers each year. But some German politicians want the largely state-owned rail company to go even further. The head of the Left party has proposed giving every German citizen a free Bahncard 50, a rewards card that entitles passengers to up to 50 percent off tickets and currently costs $284. That would be a danke deal, if it happens.
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