Five sites in Germany are due to present plans to make public transport more enticing in the bid to reduce private car use and tackle air pollution.
The cities of Bonn and Essen in the west of the country and Mannheim, Reutlingen and the town of Herrenberg in the south-west are expected to share €130 million ($148 million) through 2020 from the central government for the projects.
The plans are due to be presented soon in Berlin with Transport Minister, Andreas Scheuer, and Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, and are expected to include more cycle paths and better traffic controls.
The test or “model” places will try out a package of measures to reduce air pollution, which has exceeded EU limits in many German towns and cities.
If successful, the measures will be expanded nationwide.
Bonn, for example, plans to introduce an annual public transport ticket for new customers of €365, or 1€ per day.
“The pilot project aims to discover which measures really take hold and not just reduce (traffic) at certain places in the five places,” Bonn-Mayor Ashok-Sridharan said.
Brussels has threatened to take Berlin to the European Court of Justice for repeated violations of nitrogen oxide pollution limits.
Berlin has set aside one billion euros to combat air pollution, with 250 million coming from German carmakers.
Car manufacturers have pledged to upgrade the software of 2.8 million older diesel cars to improve emissions; the coalition government cannot agree on whether to insist on hardware fixes.