An emergency rescue package for local transport worth EUR2.5bn – part of a wider national stimulus deal of EUR130bn for 2020-21 – was announced by the German federal government on 3 June.
Public transport association Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV) welcomed the funding, but said it is vital that federal states contribute the same amount: “The public transport rescue package, unanimously approved by the federal states at the meetings of the ministers of transport and finance ministers and is now half-financed by the federal government, is imperative,” said VDV president Ingo Wortmann. “We assume that the Länder (states) will now very promptly initiate an analogous financing of the other half from their own budgets.”
The VDV estimates that local public transport operations are set to lose EUR5-7bn in fare revenue by the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The rate of VAT on train fares in Germany is also to be cut from 7% to 5% from 1 July to stimulate demand for rail travel, while the general rate of VAT will be reduced from 19% to 16%.
Other transport initiatives include a requirement for all petrol stations to include EV charging points to ease potential buyers’ range anxiety, with the government also offering an enhanced EUR6000 subsidy for new EV purchases. These measures are part of a EUR2.5bn programme that also includes further grants for vehicle battery development.