Foreword: Decentralised prosperity through mobility…

25 February 2016  •  Author(s): Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany

Alexander Dobrindt, German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital InfrastructureThere is almost no other country in the world which stands for decentralised prosperity like Germany. Our highly developed public road and rail transport network makes a substantial contribution in this respect by providing the relevant links in metropolitan regions as well as in rural areas. After all, a properly functioning transport system is the basis for growth, wealth and jobs. When looking at the wealth pyramid of modern economies, we see there can be no prosperity without mobility – this is a fundamental principle of economics. Besides, mobility is the prerequisite for individual freedom, social inclusion and for a high quality of life of our citizens.

The success story of public transport

The aim of the Federal Government is to ensure unrestricted mobility for our industry and our population. A key element in this connection is local public transport by bus and rail and we endeavour to continue its success story. For example, since the reunification of Germany, the volume of public transport has increased by approximately 30% to in the region of 12 billion passengers per year, and the transport performance calculated in passenger kilometres by more than 40%. According to our traffic forecast, we expect a continued high growth in the future, especially in the rail sector.

Investment ‘ramp-up’ for the modernisation of the transport infrastructure

This is a major challenge. But above all it is an enormous opportunity, because economic growth and an enhanced mobility are directly linked. For Germany as the number one mobility country worldwide, the foundation for this is a modern and efficient transport infrastructure. We have, therefore, initiated an investment ‘ramp-up’ and will achieve an increase in funds of approximately 40% to in the region of €14 billion per year until 2018. This is an all-time record and an upgrade of our prosperity for the future. Moreover, the Federal Government will remain a mainstay for the financing of regional and local transport and will support the Federal States until 2031 with a total of more than €150 billion of regionalisation funds.

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