Germans plan free public transport to combat fumes
The German government is considering plans to make public transport free in cities suffering from poor air quality.
German authorities face legal action by the European Commission because of air quality problems in cities.
The commission promised in January to get tough on pollution and threatened to penalise members that breached EU rules on pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and diesel particulates.
In a letter to the commission, German environment minister Barbara Hendricks, agriculture minister Christian Schmidt and chancellery chief Peter Altmaier proposed low emission zones, free public transport to reduce car use and greater incentives for electric cars.
They said they would test the measures in Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen and Mannheim before rolling out the most successful ones in other affected cities.
There had already been plans to bring down ticket prices. Most local public transport in Germany is owned by local authorities.