Germany doubles inter-city bus services in one year achieving Smart Move goal
9 December 2013 - The German long distance inter-city coach market has seen a massive 125% growth in services since its deregulation at the end of 2012, surpassing the Smart Move campaign’s target of doubling bus and coach use. The number of services soared from 86, mainly serving airports, to 194, with scheduled services connecting most German cities.
The German Federal Ministry of Transport pointed out that “Consumers can now travel affordably and in an environmentally-friendly way over longer distances. The bus is a real alternative to the car. Even with average loads, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per passenger drop significantly.”
With another 40 routes awaiting Federal Government approval, the already strong market seems set to become even stronger. Moreover, the Berlin Research Institute, IGES, has calculated that 10% of total traffic in the future could be comprised of long distance coach services.
Wolfgang Steinbrueck, President of BDO, German Bus and Coach Operators Association, stressed, “We have seen a dynamic growth of bus and coach use since the liberalisation of the market for long distance routes. In this very segment, we have achieved Smart Move’s doubling objective. Such developments show people that buses and coaches are a safe, green, affordable, efficient and user-friendly alternative for their mobility.”
President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council, Yves Mannaerts, continued, “German policy-makers and operators have demonstrated that the Smart Move objective of doubling the use of buses and coaches is clearly achievable when all stakeholders work hand in hand. I am sure that the German market and the use of buses and coaches will double again as more passengers discover their benefits and more routes open up.”
“These figures show the potential of what the private bus and coach sector can do when given the chance by legislators. They also demonstrate the existing demand for environmentally-friendly, affordable mobility and I can only encourage other countries in Europe and beyond to follow the example set by Germany,” Mr Mannaerts concluded.
Read about the benefits of doubling bus and coach transport in the EU