Fundamental analysis regarding the strategic course-setting for the transport industry’s transformation

Possibilities regarding the transport industry’s transformation are currently being discussed on various levels. Hardly a day passes without a call for switching from individual transport to public transport. The question is: How can we substantially strengthen public transport and at what price? In cooperation with our colleagues from mobilité, we have explored these questions in our brand-new study. On behalf of a parliamentary group of Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen (Alliance 90/the Green Party), we have developed an overall concept regarding the necessary course setting for the vision of doubling passenger kilometres in urban public transport and evaluated its estimated costs.

Key results from our study are:

  • The transport industry’s transformation is feasible under certain conditions: Doubling passenger kilometres is basically possible through longer and increasing numbers of journeys. However, several fundamental changes to the course setting are required: increase in capacity, pricing reform, changes to the current framework and activation of push and pull measures.
  • It is a “decathlon” to transform the transport industry: The necessary prerequisite is only achieved by a coordinated course setting regarding capacity, quality, pricing and political framework instead of individual measures. We developed 11 crucial levers of adjustment.
  • Without capacities it will not work: It is crucial to increase transport capacity and flexibility for certain relations and at certain times. We show how this is possible with only a small increase in permanent over capacities during off-peak hours.
  • How to utilise quick wins: In the short run, quick wins can be achieved through digital customer management, pricing policy, noticeable improvements in quality and an optimised utilisation of existing capacities during off-peak hours. This is where we have to start.
  • No transport industry’s transformation at no cost: Comprehensive financial means are inevitable. Our cost estimation based on 192 model cities shows that in a steady state, a minimum of EUR 7 billion p.a. is required for urban transport in Germany.


Both national media as well as specialised media have shown great interest in our study. We are looking forward to hearing from you if you are interested in our full-length study or have questions concerning our analysis and the possibilities to apply our approaches to meet your current challenges.

Please contact us! Your contact: Dr. Knut Petersen

04. April 2019