Traffic experts from the Ifo Institute, the Technical University of Munich and the car manufacturer BMW advocate the introduction of a city toll in major German cities. “It is the last big weapon to get the traffic problems under control,” said traffic technology professor Klaus Bogenberger on Thursday at the IAA Mobility auto show in Munich. “Anyone who can afford a BMW can also afford an anti-traffic jam fee.”
A toll of six euros a day could reduce traffic in Munich by 23 percent, said Oliver Falck, head of the Ifo Center for Industrial Economics and New Technologies. The city would have to collect them from every driver, “without exception, also for local residents”. The annual income of 600 million euros could be used for local public transport and for compensation payments to low-wage earners.
TU Professor Bogenberger pleaded for a dynamic fee, depending on the traffic situation and route: “The price must not be static.” He was disappointed that the Greens ruling in Stuttgart and Baden-Wrttemberg had not addressed the issue.
“Better than rigid prohibitions”
Carl Eckhardt, head of the BMW Urban Mobility Competence Center, said a city toll is better than the current situation and better than rigid bans. “I am convinced that we will see that in Germany in the next few years.” The toll obligation should not be monitored with cameras on the streets, as in London, but with cell phone and cell phone data: “The traffic control can check whether a vehicle has logged on.” Bogenberger emphasized data protection – it should not be followed all the way.
Ernst Luger, Vice President of the German Trade Association (HDE) and state chairman of the association in Bavaria, was skeptical: the shops and businesses in the city center feared losing customers through a toll. Better than a car toll is a general mobility fee or flat-rate travel fee. Because lanes and parking spaces have been eliminated, bicycles and e-scooters have more space: “Why shouldn’t that be priced too?”
A state legal basis is required for the introduction of a city toll. A municipality cannot introduce it on its own. The Bavarian Transport Minister Kerstin Schreyer (CSU) said: “We do not need a city toll, but fresh ideas to shape city traffic.” Citizens should still be able to use the means of transport that are convenient for them. (dpa-AFX / os)
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