It’s noble of a man to forego a car rather than insist on its comforts. Above all, if the step takes perhaps rucksicht on other traffic participants or also on the environment.
The city of bamberg’s offer of a year’s free bus travel as a reward for not having a driver’s license is also praiseworthy. It seems that our transport company takes into consideration the elderly citizens and the environment.
However: after one year, the fun of driving a bus is over for the 30 or so people who have issued driver’s licenses in bamberg so far. So there could be two motives for leaving the car behind: one’s own fitness to drive and one’s own environmental awareness. The first is purely personal and must be decided by each person. The question of whether seniors should take another test is a different one.
Public utilities pay for buses: more self-interest than courtesy
The other thing, the environmental idea, concerns virtually everyone. The possibility to decide to take this step for this or that reason must be created by the transport companies. And there we are at the core of the discussion about the support of the public utilities in the return of the driver’s license.
The fact that bamberg only pays for the bus for one year is not an offer of courtesy, but smells of self-interest. Why? Because there’s nothing in it for the municipal utility, because they don’t have to forego anything, because the few people who have taken advantage of the offer so far don’t fill up a bus and don’t improve the annual balance sheet.
One year of free bus service is not worth it
250 euros is the price of an annual ticket – at least a quarter of what a new driving license costs nowadays. So this does not outweigh. The public utility company is donating a good 7500 euros for the 30 driver’s license dispensers, so to speak. That is not the world, that hardly falls into the weight with good 10.200.000 passengers (2017) and a total turnover of around 153.000.000 euro, as the stadtwerke state on their homepage.
With these figures in mind, the offer is nothing more than a matter of course. Mayor andreas stark loves to be quoted as saying that he wants to use the offer to entice citizens to come to the city center without a car. This has a compelling logic. Revoke your own driver’s license, then take the bus into town – how else, if you don’t use your bike?? Exactly, and without a driver’s license, you can’t even get to the neighboring village.
The public utilities do not take any responsibility
The whole thing is a sham. Because who is shown in the press report – quite rightly – as responsible and considerate?? It wasn’t the municipal utility, but mrs. Wagner, who was the first to take advantage of the offer. But what did starke say about the campaign?? "This is how we protect the world’s cultural heritage and the environment."
Well, the first person plural is inappropriate at this point because of the individual commitment of the over 30 license issuers. Because who can take part in the action and how are the interested people attracted to actually do it?? Anyone who wants to can participate, and they are lured with a year of free bus travel.
How could the public utilities actually help??
That means: whoever wants to ride the bus for free for one year in bamberg and only in bamberg, perhaps to protect the environment or to avoid stress in traffic, should hand in his driver’s license for the rest of his life. Whether it is an incentive for the family man who does the weekend shopping, buys a new shelf in the hardware store or for all those who live in the surrounding area and are dependent on their car for various reasons?
But what would help? It would help if the public utilities were to make an advance payment so that anyone who is thinking about leaving their car behind can do so easily. The solution: free bus transportation in bamberg for everyone. Not only on advent saturdays – which worked surprisingly well.
The city took responsibility and made it easy for all citizens, young, old, able to drive or not, to leave their cars behind. Because that’s what it’s all about, that as many as possible leave the car behind as often as possible. And if we win the european championship, anyone who wants to take part in the motorcade can still do so.