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German government seriously considering free public transport idea

Europe
14.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - The German government is seriously considering making public transport for commuters free of charge in certain cities in order to improve air quality, at least temporarily, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on Wednesday.

Seibert was reacting to a news of a letter to European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, seen by dpa on Tuesday, that was signed by German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, Transport Minister Christian Schmidt and Head of the Federal Chancellery Peter Altmaier.

The federal government planned to look into the option with the governments of Germany‘s 16 states and municipal leaders, Seibert said.

"We are prepared to take steps," he said. The government move follows a call from the European Union relating in particular to levels of oxides of nitrogen, with the European Commission in Brussels warning of legal action if limits laid down by the bloc are not adhered to.

He said the government was awaiting the commission‘s assessment of Berlin‘s proposals. Everything possible would be done to improve air quality and to avoid bans on the use of the diesel-powered vehicles that are held largely responsible for exacerbating air pollution.

 

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