Accompanying study on the introduction of fare-free public transit in Monheim am Rhein, Germany


The city of Monheim introduced fare-free public transit for all residents in spring 2020. In this study, the Chair and Institute of Urban and Transport Planning tries to find out what changes in mobility in mobility behaviour can be observed.

The basis for the study of the effects is the evaluation of existing surveys before the introduction of free public transport as well as the implementation of a household survey and further traffic counts after the introduction. In order to ensure a uniform survey design as well as a uniform data preparation for the survey already conducted in 2018, the household survey on mobility behaviour in the SrV (System repräsentativer Verkehrsbefragungen) design was subcontracted to the University of Dresden together with Omnitrend. This ensures the comparability of the results. The effects of free travel on mobility behaviour were determined by a before-and-after comparison of essential criteria of the household surveys. In parallel, the development of public transport in the city was investigated by analysing passenger numbers on the lines of the Monheim public transport company. Based on the data obtained, it was possible to evaluate, among other things, the use of transport by the people of Monheim as well as the change and distribution of traffic volumes in the city area. Based on the results, effects on the public transport offer and the revenue situation of public transport in Monheim were also analysed. Due to the onset of the Corona pandemic, which was accompanied by the introduction of free public transport in Monheim am Rhein in spring 2020, further studies had to be consulted in order to separate the effects of the Corona pandemic from the effects of free public transport as far as possible.


The evaluations of the surveys provided the following findings:

  • A large majority (approx. 95%) evaluates the offer of free public transport positively.
  • Availability of a season ticket increases from 23% to 84
  • Younger and lower-income population groups use public transport more often
  • The proportion of people who do not use the bus at all decreases
  • Some respondents (25%) estimate that they use public transport more often after the introduction of free travel.
  • The modal split share of public transport increases for shorter journeys and in domestic traffic.
  • The modal split share of walking and cycling increases
  • The modal split share of public transport over all journeys decreases
  • The average number of journeys per person per day is falling
  • The proportion of employees in home offices is increasing

From April 2022, the data from the second survey period (autumn 2021) will be analysed.

  Presentation of the results of the surveys Presentation of the results of the surveys with classification between the impact areas "Introduction of free public transport" and "Corona pandemic".


09.2021 - 09.2022



Dr.-Ing. Conny Louen