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Commuting in Germany

Nine percent of employees cycle to work

Radfahrerinnen
Radfahrerinnen © Falk Weiß

Although half of all employees in Germany have a commuting distance up to 10 kilometres, and the time expenditure for commuting is about 30 minutes, often cars are used for these these distances. This is shown in figures of the sample census for “employees sorted by professional status, distance, time expenditure and means of transport for the forward run tor work” which is published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). They show that 9 percent of employees use a bike, 8 percent are walking and 14 percent are using public transport, and 68 percent motorized individual transport.

More and more municipals, the Federal Government and the German Länder enforce cycle highways to increase the cycling rate. Also findings by the University of Glasgow show, that public health improves when active mobility while commuting is pushed, i.e. through appropriate cycling facilities, bike sharing systems and a connection between cycling and other means of public transport.

Also interesting in this context is a current forsa survey on behalf of the Transport Ministry of Baden-Württemberg. In reply of the question in which area a plus of 10 million Euros should be invested, 20 percent said, it should be walking and cycling, 25 percent wanted an improved public transport and 28 percent the linkage between sustainable transport means. Only 15 percent favour the construction of new roads for motorized traffic, and 9 percent prefer investments in road maintenance. 80 percent said that the federal state and the municipalities should invest in cycle highways. 71 percent think that ticket pricing for busses and railways is to complicated, and 66 percent think that public transport in rural areas should expanded significantly, even if will then be necessary to install new tax.

However, an actual survey by Allensbach Institute on behalf of the newspaper FAZ shows that persuasion is indispensable. The interviewees associate the car with comfort (92 percent) and freedom (72 percent). Only 9 percent of the households can imagine a complete abandonment of a car. A majority of 42 percent value it meaningful to block cities for diesel-engined cars.