The Frankfurter Allgemine (our regional 'big' newspaper) did up a fine article this morning on a trend.....more folks riding public transit in Germany.
The numbers? Eleven billion occasions in 2014 occurred with a German riding public transit. With eighty million residents.....it's a fairly big number.
For years, things had been somewhat stalled on daily users, so the change is positive.
What's helped? One of the keys to the better numbers are the long-distance buses. For decades.....the Bahn folks (railway) had a rule that only short-distance bus lines could exist within Germany. You couldn't rig up a bus to start in Kaiserslautern and end in Berlin. It was OK to operate a bus from Kaiserslautern to some town within twenty-odd kilometers.....but no long-distance locations.
Folks in the past decade started to challenge this strategy. Eventually, bus companies got the law changed. A guy could walk out of the Frankfurt Airport today.....find five or six bus companies running a long-distance deal (say to Hamburg or Munich) for twenty-five Euro and spend eight hours hitting three or four significant towns before arriving at the final destination.
Here in my local area....there are various tickets now available for the consumer....which cheapens the load slightly. If you simply make the decision that you won't leave the house until after 9AM.....you can buy a bus/rail pass for the week at twenty-five percent discount. You can carry a second person on your ticket for forty-percent more of the single ticket. They've gotten aggressive and enticed people to travel via the public system.