A ticket allowing people unlimited travel on Germany’s trains and buses for just €9 ($9.28) a month has led to a large uptick in train trips, particularly in rural and tourist areas, the German Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, said on Thursday.

However, little change to road usage habits was discernible, according to the statisticians, in a blow to the hopes of many environmentalists.

The ticket was introduced in June, for three months, as a taxpayer-subsidized measure to help consumers cope with rising prices amid high inflation partly triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The number of train trips longer than 30 kilometers (19 miles) in July was 42% up on the same month in 2019, Destatis said. A similar increase was logged in June.

Comparisons are being made against 2019 figures because that was the last year when the COVID pandemic did not have a major negative influence on public transport usage. 

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