Driving included: German city introduces mobility flat rate
Most of us hate to be on public transport. Tickets are expensive, you have to walk miles to get to the next bus stop and then there are the people, who proudly say that they don't need a car at all to get around town - ridiculous! I mean, yes, we all know that we can buy a monthly pass and save some money BUT...
What if I do need a car at some point?
Sure, I can sign up for car-sharing. Maybe I should even sign up with more than one car-sharing company to increase the chances of quickly finding a car when I need one. Maybe one of those rental bikes would also be cool because the place I want to go to is quite far from the next bus stop. But then I'm going to have to sign up with the bike rental company as well. Don't they all just want my personal data anyway?
We can find countless reasons why public transport can't replace our own cars. The German city of Augsburg, however, has now come up with an interesting idea.
Customers can sign up for a so-called mobility flat rate starting from 79€ per month. That includes unlimited use of all buses (which are bio-fuel powered by the way), trams and rental bikes. Sounds boring? That's because another key ingredient of the package is yet to come: you also get 15 hours of car-sharing (up to 150 kilometers) per month.
You don't like restrictions?
If you're willing to pay another 30€ on top, you get 30 hours of car-sharing without any range restrictions. So that means for a total of 109€ you can use all kinds of public transport as well as rental bikes PLUS you can drive a car for an hour every day of the month without having to worry about maintenance, fuel or parking fees. The latter has become a huge pain in the neck in German (as well as other European) cities over the past years. For example, in Vienna (Austria) it's nearly impossible to rent a permanent parking space in an underground car park for less than 109€ per month.
Sure, all of this sounds nice but it still won't replace owning a car. However, if you're only moving around town, you may still want to look into that offer, especially if you love your car(s). Why should your little metal friend have to get stuck in bad city traffic every day when you can simply pass that burden on to some beaten up rental car that you neither need to refuel nor clean? Instead, your precious car can look forward to the weekend when you're taking it for a nice long drive. Fewer miles on its clock mean that it's probably going to stick around longer.