Berlin rides for free!

Berlin, October 12, 2010
With the motto “Think global – Act local!” the Berlin based campaign “Berlin fährt frei” (Berlin rides for free) informed interested Berliners during its kickoff
action on the global action day for climate justice.

The “Berlin fährt frei” campaign puts its action in the context of the global action day for climate justice. From 5 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon humorous small theatre performances and various information material enlivened the Berlin subway lines and stations and many passengers. The aim and focus of the action were to criticize the impact of private motorised transport on the one hand and the motivate a change to solidaristically, democratically organised free public transport that is not based on economic growth on the other.

The campaign found much resonance for its ideas: there was not only unanimous support that public transport in Berlin was to expensive and as first step we need to hinder next year’s planned price hikes, but one passenger doubted that the CO² goals of the Berlin Senate could be reached only with insulation and boiler replacements. A young father remarked that free public transport would reduce traffic in Berlin and make the streets safer for his children.

There was a particularly good reception of the colorfully clad campaigners in the S-Bahn (the regional train, which last had a major crisis due to dwindling security standards), with one passenger asserting: “It can’t be that public services serve the profit interests of large concerns.” Dieter Hartmann, active in “Berlin fährt frei” commented on the positive feedback from passengers during the action: “It is especially the link between environmental protection, social justice, democratic control of common goods and the perspective of a livable city excites people about the campaign.

Only by rethinking our way of life and economy are we able to fulfill our global responsibility on a local level. We’re quite happy about the start of the campaign and invite everybody to make Berlin a poster child for a truly environmental friendly free public transport.

Read more in german:

Berlin Fährt Frei