Germany is running a bold experiment with the so-called Deutschland-Ticket that for €49 ($55 US) a month entitles the ticket holder to “unlimited travel on all city buses, subways and trams in every municipality across Germany.” The intended goal of the initiative is “to reduce carbon emissions by making it easier and cheaper for people to use public transport.”
The program started in May 2023 and early results seem promising. For example “the number of train trips of more than 30 kilometers (19 miles) increased by 27.5% in June to more than 123,000 on mornings during the work week, compared with less than 97,000 in April, according to data from mobile telecommunications provider O2 Telefonica.” Additionally, “[T]here were nearly 100,000 fewer daily car trips on average in June, compared with the same month in 2019 — before the pandemic and last year’s €9 ticket, according to O2’s analysis of mobile phone data.”
This is the kind of systemic, large scale initiative that needs to be replicated in countries and regions throughout the world if we want to really have an impact on climate change. If you make the ‘better’ choice for the planet convenient, cheaper, easier and frictionless - in the same way technology has made so many planet-harming actions - significant improvements are possible.