German cities need €347bn to fix roads and rail by 2030

German cities need €347bn to fix roads and rail by 2030

According to a study by the German Institute for Urban Studies (Difu), which was commissioned by the Main Association of the German Construction Industry (HDB), the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) and the General German Automobile Club (Adac), German cities need to invest €283bn to upgrade their roads and €64bn to improve their rail networks by 2030.

The study revealed that about one third of the 714,000km of roads and nearly half of all bridges in the cities are in poor condition. On the other hand, public transport bridges and tunnels are in better shape and about two thirds of them are either new or in good condition.

However, most of the investment needed for public transport will go to the 451km of underground metro and light rail lines. The metro networks in Germany have a total length of 900km, while the light rail and tram networks have a total length of 6320km.

“The current study results show a worrying picture of the state of the urban transport infrastructure,” says VDV managing director, Mr Oliver Wolff.

“The road networks in the cities are much larger than the public transport networks. Therefore, the results for both road and public transport are equally alarming.”

The VDV says that another €4.5bn is required to expand the urban public transport infrastructure by 2030, especially for underground metro and light rail lines, while traditional tram lines need investment to handle increasing traffic.

The VDV says that there is a federal programme for investing in public transport networks, the Municipal Transport Financing Act (GVFG), which is currently experiencing a huge surge in registered projects.

The annual GVFG funding is currently €1bn and will rise to €2bn from 2025. According to VDV, €902m of GVFG funds were used in 2022, which was almost the entire annual budget for the first time. “Moreover, the number of projects under the GVFG federal programme has increased fourfold in the last three years,” the VDV says. “This increase is not only because of more large projects, but also because of a much larger number of projects being registered in general.”

“The annual GVFG funding will not be enough from 2025 onwards, so we think that an increase from €2bn to €3bn annually is necessary,” Wolff says.

€64bn needed to upgrade German urban rail networks by 2030, says report

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