The initial situation
A comprehensive expansion of public transport services makes a positive contribution to climate protection. It also compensates for necessary restrictive measures to achieve climate targets and thus contributes to the success of a comprehensive transport turnaround in Germany.
The transport companies in Germany see it as their task to significantly expand public transport services and to establish new, innovative forms of services on the market. This will enable a positive contribution to climate protection. At the same time, the financing of this expansion of services is not yet secured for the next few years. The sector is facing significant cost increases due to the expansion of their services and the transition to climate-friendly types of transport. However, in order to achieve the transport turnaround and to keep the shift to public transport attractive, the tariff level cannot be raised to the same extent. In a report commissioned by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), Roland Berger and Intraplan therefore point out which public transport services are at least necessary to achieve the climate targets by 2030 and how their financing can be secured.
A comprehensive expansion of public transport services and their financing is necessary for the success of the transport turnaround.
The concrete task
Provision of the transport volume framework and climate impacts
The task of Intraplans was to provide the traffic volume frameworks and climate impacts. For this purpose, the existing operating services and transport services were determined. Subsequently, it was determined which climate target passenger transport in Germany must achieve by 2030. Both the sector-specific emission limits from the Federal Climate Protection Act and the tightened EU-wide climate target announced at EU level by 2030 were taken into account. As the main component of the study, a comprehensive scenario was formed that covers all passenger transport in Germany in 2030. Based on this scenario, the public transport service increases until 2030 and their effects on transport services and climate targets were analysed.
An overall scenario 2030
The study is based on an ambitious scenario. However, it is within the scope of what is possible in terms of service expansion on existing and new infrastructure by 2030. Basically, the forecast premises of the German federal government in the form of the “Verkehrsverflechtungsprognose 2030” (forecast of traffic flows) were taken as a basis. Based on this, findings from the Deutschland Mobil 2030 study, the 3rd expert draft on the Deutschlandtakt and surveys of VDV member companies were incorporated. The scenario covers all forms of public transport, from regional passenger transport to underground trains, light rail and trams to buses and on-demand services. In the region, a massively expanded on-demand service embedded in the public transport system creates an attractive offer. In the city, scheduled on-demand transport acts as a selective supplement to existing services.
This extensive expansion of the public transport offer enables a clear modal shift from private transport to public transport. This is not only supported by the “pull effects” of the improved services, but also by various push factors. This includes both rising prices, e.g. through the CO2 tax, as well as an overall de-attraction of private transport, through land reallocations, speed reductions, etc. The increase in public transport services will also have a positive effect on the modal shift from private transport to public transport.
The climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in passenger transport by more than 50% by 2030 can be achieved by expanding public transport services, switching to alternative drives in public transport, more electrically powered vehicles and accompanying measures to reduce the use of private cars.
On the basis of this scenario, Roland Berger determined the future financing needs of public transport until 2030 and made proposals on how to close the financing gap of an additional €11 billion/year by 2030. Finally, concrete best practice examples were used to show how seriously the public transport sector in Germany is tackling the issue of “transport turnaround”.
Use of the results
The results serve as a planning basis for public transport financing in the coming years.
The results were taken up in a resolution of the Conference of Transport Ministers in June 2021. Thus, they serve as a factual basis and planning basis for reforms of public transport financing in the next legislative period.
Project data and contact persons
Shaping the transport turnaround – Expert opinion on the financing of service costs in local public transport
Association of German Transport Companies (VDV)
Roland Berger, Florenus
January 2021-May 2021