Impact of fare-free public transport on mobility, choice of transportation mode and infrastructure quality

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It is estimated that transport pollution accounts for roughly a fifth of all carbon emissions worldwide. One important measure to reduce carbon emissions of the transportation sector is to shift the mode of transportation from individual traffic (such as cars) to public transport (such as rail). Liechtenstein as well as other countries currently discuss the introduction of fare-free public transport to combat high traffic and to reach climate goals. Empirical evidence on the effect of these tickets is extremely scarce.

From June to September 2022, Germany introduced the so-called 9 EUR Ticket. This ticket allowed passengers to use local and regional public transport in all of Germany for mere 9 EUR per month. This unique policy experiment provides a great laboratory to study the effect of (almost) fare-free public transport on mobility, transport mode, and infrastructure quality. This project will use high-quality data on traffic volume from road monitoring stations, train delay as well as mobile phone data to examine the impact of this ticket.

Project duration: since 2024