At least one important building block for a traffic turnaround is currently not exhausting its potential. Local public transport is too expensive in the country and too poorly developed in the city, according to a survey by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). A majority of the respondents in Germany can basically imagine switching from car to public transport or cycling more often. However, from the point of view of the around 4,000 households surveyed, the conditions must be right for this. For around 75 percent of households that regularly use a car, a more frequent switch to public transport would be conceivable. In almost 66 percent, this applies to bicycles. There are differences between urban and rural areas in terms of the incentives required for this.
Objective: better connections, lower prices
The more rural the region and the worse the connection to local public transport, the more often the car is used. In rural areas, both the number of cars per household and the proportion of households that use a car every day are about twice as high as in large cities. In rural areas, better connections would lead to greater use of local public transport for 71 percent of those surveyed. In the big cities, however, the cost aspect dominates. Around 58 percent of households would switch to local transport more often if the fares were lower.
In contrast, there are no major differences between urban and rural areas when it comes to bicycle use. For more than half of the households, the prerequisite for greater use is a better infrastructure (cities more than 50, rural communities a good 48 percent). Almost half of the respondents (cities around 45, rural communities around 42 percent) would use the bike more often if it could be better combined with local public transport. Buying an e-bike could be an incentive for almost 28 percent of households to switch. According to the KfW study, bicycles also have the potential to become a key pillar of the traffic transition in rural areas.
The KfW energy transition barometer is an annual representative survey of around 4,000 private households based in Germany on decisions and attitudes relating to climate protection. Among other things, the following questions were asked:
Under which of the following conditions would you personally use public transport more often instead of the car?
Under which of the following conditions would you use your bike more often instead of the car?