Bettina Jarasch wants to rule Berlin: In the election campaign, the green top candidate is primarily focusing on the issues of affordable living space and climate neutrality
You have already indicated that you want more ecological new buildings in Berlin and that the city should become climate neutral. A major lever to implement this is the turnaround in traffic. So that Berliners leave their cars behind in the future, you want to make traveling with BVG and S-Bahn more attractive. As?
People don’t switch to public transport just because of the ticket price, but when it really gets them to their destination quickly, safely and from anywhere. So we will massively expand the local public transport network and also better connect the outskirts and the Brandenburg area. Working with Brandenburg is very important to me. I think there’s a lot more to it than what we’ve done so far.
But we also want inexpensive public transport for everyone. To this end, we propose a kind of pay-as-you-go financing, as is being tested in Baden-Württemberg under the name mobility pass. For example, all adult Berliners would pay 15 euros a month and could then use all of Berlin’s local transport. That is our idea of the “Berlin Bear Ticket”. That would be significantly cheaper than the current monthly ticket. The Bären-Ticket brings something to everyone, including those who only drive a car and never use public transport. Because their families could then travel by bus and train free of charge and because those who really still need their car will no longer be stuck in traffic jams.
How are you going to finance that? With a solidarity donation of 15 euros a month, this will hardly be feasible.
With the Berlin Mobility Act and the transport contract, we have already secured 28 billion euros for investments up to 2035. New routes are to be built, but above all new S-Bahn and U-Bahn cars and electric buses are to be bought. But I am also betting that we will get a green federal government and, if possible, a green transport ministry. As long as the transport minister’s name is Andreas Scheuer , the money from the ministry goes to the next bypass in a small Bavarian town. That should change urgently. The billions of dollars that the federal government spends on transport must be diverted – from road to rail. And when Berlin gets the money it needs, we’ll be ready. We have already laid the foundations.
We developed the “i2030” project together with Brandenburg and Deutsche Bahn. So it is already planned on routes that extend through the entire metropolitan region in part to the Polish border. This means that we can apply quickly if the funds for new route connections are made available in the federal government. That would also give a big boost to the development in rural areas in Brandenburg. People with a job in Berlin can also find new housing opportunities in the surrounding area. The new railway lines then offer new opportunities for commuting.
Berliners should leave their car behind and switch to public transport or bicycles. Serious bicycle accidents also occur time and again on Berlin’s road traffic. This cannot be prevented by expanding public transport either.
Yes, we need more protected bike paths and crossings in Berlin. But we mustn’t forget the weakest road users either: Secured pedestrian crossings are just as important. We Greens are very impatient with developments. The pop-up cycle paths gave us a real boost in the implementation of new cycle paths. You can see them everywhere in the city – and they are becoming permanent. I want to keep this pace. Also through provisional solutions.
By reallocating responsibilities for cycle paths, implementation will also become easier in the future. In the future, the state will be responsible for all main roads, and the districts will be responsible for the cycle paths on side roads. In this way, we bundle the competencies in the right places. And we can get even faster.
Many bicycle accidents also happen because vehicles park on cycle paths. Shouldn’t the police and the public order offices also be dealt with? They would have to recognize the danger and remedy it before something happens.
Police and public order offices have many different tasks. The control of second-row and cycle path parkers has not always been a priority in the past. That needs to change. I am therefore also pleased that the Senator for the Interior and the Senator for Transport (editor’s note: Andreas Geisel, SPD and Regine Günther, Greens) have teamed up and that the parking of cycle paths is now much more strictly controlled – until it is really clear to everyone that this will not be tolerated.
The “Berlin car-free” initiative advocates – as the name suggests – an (almost) car-free city center. The initiative wants to achieve this with bans. What’s your approach?
We will not ban driving, we want to create offers to make one’s own car superfluous. But of course we are also working on solutions for commercial traffic. Merchants in the city center must continue to be supplied with goods. Instead of unloading from a truck in the second row, we are making parking bays free for delivery traffic by reducing the total number of cars on the road. And at the same time we will move the deliveries as far as possible by rail or waterways and we will promote cargo bikes for the last mile.
Free areas can then be unsealed. We can turn parking lots into parks. “Kiezoasen” offer more green spaces. A city center with fewer cars thus offers a better quality of life for everyone who lives in Berlin, and above all more cooling in the heat and more infiltration in heavy rain.
Thank you for the interview!
On September 26, the Berliners elect not only the German Bundestag, but also the Berlin House of Representatives and the district assemblies. For an overview of the positions and goals of the Berlin parties, t-online conducted interviews with the respective top candidates for the House of Representatives election. You can find another conversation every Sunday on online mag