In the referendum, the citizens clearly voted against the construction of the City-Bahn and, according to Mayor Gert-Uwe Mende (SPD), missed a century's chance of a traffic turnaround.
A total of 62.1% of the citizens voted on 1st November against the construction of the tramway that would connect Bad Schwalbach, Taunusstein (Rheingau-Taunus), Wiesbaden and Mainz and solve the problem of traffic jams in the city centre. The project would have cost 305 million euros, but 90% of the costs would have been financed by the federal government. Lord Mayor Mende (SPD) had previously described the project as the opportunity of the century.
In this context, trams are the norm in Germany for good reason. They relieve the roads, connect the city better and are also environmentally friendly. Buses in Wiesbaden are increasingly congested, and because of overcrowded streets they are usually late and unreliable. This is a vicious circle, as more and more commuters then take the car themselves. Citizens who had a positive attitude towards the City-Bahn stated that they would switch from the car to the train. Buses, for example, were too full and impractical for travelling with prams, whereas this was not a problem with trains. In addition, the journey there is quieter, faster and usually on time.
One of the arguments of the almost 60,000 citizens who voted against the construction of the City-Bahn was that it would take up too much space and thus hinder traffic. But since Wiesbaden's motorists are threatened with a much harsher fate if they do not change their minds, this argument has not been thought through. Since 2016, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) has been suing the city for excessive air pollution. The bans were averted by an ambitious clean air plan of the city. But since this plan is not supported by politics and industry, and both the expansion of the cycle paths and the introduction of electric buses are stalled, there is a threat of another lawsuit. Thus the decision of the citizens against the City-Bahn is incomprehensible.
If the roads are not relieved, diesel bans are now almost inevitable and the already planned environmental lane must now be completed this year. You can find out how things will go on with Wiesbaden here and of course in our Green-Zones App.