BERLIN — Germany’s upper house of parliament has approved a plan to make rail travel cheaper as part of a package of measures to combat climate change.
The decision Friday by the chamber representing Germany’s 16 states will reduce value-added tax on train tickets, making them about 10% cheaper starting Jan. 1.
The German government hopes that cutting rail prices will encourage more people to use trains, thereby helping reduce emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases.
Rail travel in Germany, where much of the track is electrified, produces significantly less carbon dioxide per passenger
Deutsche Bahn, the main rail operator in Germany, expects passenger numbers to increase by 5 million a year as a result of the VAT cut.
Responding to concerns about overcrowding on its trains, the company is investing more than 12 billion euros ($13.3 billion) to expand and modernize its rolling stock in the coming years.
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The Associated Press