A request from the SPO boss was turned down during the ORF summer talks. This is really amazing. Because, according to Andreas Bubler, this is a very central demand of social democracy, which upon closer inspection raises many questions.
Bebeler raised the topic in the early stages of the TV talk. Once again it was about climate protection. ORF moderator Susan Schnabel wanted to know: Can the SPO boss list three specific ways to reduce emissions in traffic? “The key word is public infrastructure,” Bebeler said. Here he sees the solution, and that is “first, second and third” – and thus the only way to reduce emissions by SPO.
The only SPÖ measure to reduce CO2 emissions looks like this: Every Austrian in rural areas “should have the opportunity to get to a public transport connection – a bus or train station – within 15 minutes’ walking distance.” This does not only apply to commuting to work, “but also children and young people who need to go to the neighboring community, go to the bathroom, go to the cinema, go shopping, go to the doctor and so on”.
It sounds fine – but now causes derision on X and Twitter. On closer look, and this is correct, as one has to wonder whether the SPO had really calculated this idea under its new party leader. Even in some urban areas, it takes more than 15 minutes to reach the next stop. For example, on the outskirts of Vienna, transport connections are quite poor, as the Chamber of Labor determined in a study four years ago. 300,000 Viennese are affected. Sometimes bus stops with long waiting times are the only ones available for you.
But the demand for bubblers is even more exciting for the rural area he mentioned. In 15 minutes walk, you can cover a distance of about one kilometer. There should not be a public transport station more than one kilometer from each residence. Especially in remote and mountainous areas – but not only there – it becomes a demanding and above all, extremely expensive affair.
Some stations are not built well enough to connect some places with public transport. Connecting too few people to public transport would require many longer and new transport lines.
There is also the question of intervals: if trains and buses run only twice a day, using them may be immediately impractical for many residents. But if they drive at least every half hour throughout the day, then at some point the taxpayer – which the bubbler always ignores – will ask itself: Why am I funding large sums of money for empty wagons?