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Train drivers' strike damages mobility change

The current train drivers' strike has almost completely stopped passenger transport - and that during the holiday season. This shows that the alternatives to the car cannot be relied upon.

The train drivers' strike is causing delays and train cancellations all over Germany. Since yesterday evening at 7 p.m., freight traffic has been on strike, and this morning at 2 a.m. passenger traffic was added to the strike. During the holiday season, this causes a lot of problems for travellers. But also commuters who come from outside the cities or have to commute between cities mostly rely on the railways.

While the strike is a high democratic good and the train drivers are naturally entitled to it as a means of exerting pressure, it is detrimental to the mobility revolution. The situation makes many travellers despair and shows that the decision to take the train was wrong and that one's own car is much more reliable. Those who have opted for a journey in a camper van instead of the train or who commute to work in a company car are now clearly at an advantage.

If you look into the future and imagine a world in which we have more and more car-free areas and city centres, how can we still react flexibly to rail strikes or other problems with transport alternatives? What would happen in the event of such a strike in Berlin if the initiative "Volksentscheid Berlin autofrei" was already a reality and people were not allowed to use their cars in the city?

So there is no way around the car at the moment and it is understandable that many people do not want to give up their cars. In the mobility transition, therefore, not only the daily trip to work or on holiday must be considered, but also the exceptional situations in which the car is still the means of choice.

Is this security even possible without a car? If these problems cannot be overcome, the mobility revolution will merely replace combustion engines with quieter, cleaner electric cars. But the streetscape will then continue to be dominated by cars, without much space left for parks and recreational areas.