While Brits are reeling after the 2.7 per cent surge in train fares, German counterparts are enjoying a whopping reduction of 10 per cent in long-distant train travel. Why? The German authorities want to entice passengers to use their railways in a bid to reduce climate change.
The national operator Deutsche Bahn said has confirmed that the lower fares will apply to inter-city journeys of more than 50km in Germany.
The reason Deutsche Bahn can afford to do this is a direct result of a recent generous VAT cut from 19 per cent to 7 per cent as part of a series climate protection measures passed by the German government The company has decided to pass the saving onto its customers.
Train journeys under 50km are already subject to just 7 per cent VAT. Other price reductions include taking bikes onboard, the BahnCard100 railcard and seat reservations.
The company expects the lower fares will tempt an extra five million passengers onto their railways.
Deutsche Bahn CEO Dr Richard Lutz said
“We are delighted for our millions of long-distance customers in Germany that we can now offer them even more attractive ticket prices on 1 January in the most climate-friendly means of transport.
This is a strong start for the new decade, which is so important in terms of climate policy.”
The operator is planning to invest €12bn in new trains over the coming years.
Looks like the Germans are on track to lead the way.