So that young people in rural areas can go out in the evening without any problems, some districts and cities in Bavaria subsidize nightly taxi rides. However, the Bavarian Youth Association (BJR) is skeptical. Because: Despite the subsidization by the municipalities, the taxi rides are still more expensive than a bus ticket. “Only young people from wealthy families can afford such an offer,” said a spokeswoman. Offers are needed that are affordable for everyone and also sustainable.
Offer is accepted
The acceptance of the “Fifty-Fifty-Taxis” is very good, according to the Bayreuth district, for example, where the offer started in autumn 2021. In the district of Wunsiedel, the “Fifty-Fifty-Taxi” started in the summer of 2019. If young people and young adults want to go out on the weekend or the night before public holidays, the district will reimburse them half of the costs paid for the taxi. “The offer is well received,” said a spokeswoman for the district office. Eight companies are now involved in the project, and it started with five.
Background: Especially in rural areas and smaller towns, buses no longer run in the evening. Young people are therefore often dependent on their parents driving them to the cinema and fetching them back, for example.
Avoid accidents under the influence of alcohol
The district of Lichtenfels made the offer for the first time 20 years ago – and sees itself as a pioneer for Bavaria. A spokesman said that since 2018 it has also been possible to book the taxi conveniently via an app. Important aspect: The offer should also prevent accidents under the influence of alcohol. Because even young adults with their own driver’s license can use the taxi in the evening if they want to have a drink.
Last summer, the district of Eichstätt also introduced a “Fifty-Fifty-Taxi”: “In rural areas of the district of Eichstätt, evening events often require longer journeys. Local public transport cannot cover these connections at the relevant times,” said Manfred Schmidmeier from the district office. “The project is enjoying increasing popularity.” Especially during the folk festival and over the Christmas holidays, many young people and young adults booked a nightly taxi ride.
Around 110,000 euros per year
The district of Bayreuth spends around 110,000 euros per year on the “Fifty-Fifty-Taxi”, the district of Wunsiedel paid around 35,000 euros in 2022. In Eichstätt it is not yet possible to say anything specific about the costs due to the short duration of the project.
The BJR, on the other hand, thinks it makes more sense to expand bus connections across the country – including for the evenings and weekends. “With a good offer, the demand usually increases,” said the spokeswoman.
Youth ticket required
In a resolution that was recently passed at the association meeting, it says: “In order to be able to meet the existential need of young people for mobility, we are demanding an inexpensive youth ticket valid throughout Bavaria for all young people as soon as possible.” The long-term goal must be “free local public transport”.
“Youth-friendly mobility” means that young people can use means of transport independently – even without a driver’s license – and sustainably, i.e. as climate-neutrally as possible, resource-saving and without high costs.