Austria to launch "climate ticket"
From the end of October, Austrians will be able to buy a state-subsidised annual ticket entitling them to nationwide public transport for around 1,000 euros. The Green Minister of Climate Action, Leonore Gewessler, hopes that the new "climate ticket" will encourage people to switch from cars to buses and trains. But not all Austria's states are on board - Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland have yet to give their consent.
Stop by stop to the final destination
The purchase of a climate ticket will be a practical but also a symbolic commitment to environmental protection, says Der Standard:
“For some people, owning a climate ticket will be symbolic, a declaration of intent to use public transport more often in the future - even if owning the ticket doesn't pay off right away. But it is a sign that one really cares about environmental protection; it is a signal to politicians regarding how they should design the future of transportation. Because yes, this ticket is not only costly for those who buy it, but also for taxpayers. ... And these people believe that the money is better invested in expanding the public transport infrastructure than in that for cars.”
It all comes down to the urban centres
In order to successfully divert commuter flows to rail, the urban regions must also join in, states the Kurier:
“It is bitter not just for the eastern Austrians, but for everyone in the country that Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria are not joining in for the time being. ... After all, the whole point of the climate ticket aim is to encourage Austrians to switch from cars to public transportation. And for a good reason: greenhouse gas emissions from transport are rising rapidly, yet they need to be more than halved by 2030. This was negotiated in Brussels, with the approval of the federal government. This will never work unless the public transport networks in Vienna and Lower Austria also participate.”