Private transport

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Reference to a transition between individual and local public transport

When private transport uses road users a standing his disposal means of transport (car, bicycle, motorcycle, wagon , boat, snowmobile , airplane, riding horse, etc.) or sports equipment ( skates , inline skates , sailboat , glider , etc.) and he goes on foot ( see pedestrian traffic ), whereby he can essentially decide freely about times and routes ( choice rider ). Individual transport is in contrast to public transport and private non-public transport (their means of transport are, for example, excursion boats, cable cars used for tourism , ski lifts ).

Individual traffic (IV) includes non-motorized individual traffic (pedestrians, cyclists , skaters , etc.) and motorized individual traffic ( cars , motorcycles , mopeds , mobile homes , etc.).

Vehicles, carts and rickshaws that the necessary traffic be rented short term with driver belong, even if the user is free to choose times and ways of the special forms of public transport .

If the traveler is in any way dependent on his decision (e.g. as a passenger), he is referred to as a captive rider .

Motorized private transport

Motor vehicles for individual use such as cars and motorcycles (two-wheelers that drive 100% using engine power such as motorcycles , scooters , mopeds and mopeds ) are referred to as "motorized individual transport" (MIT). The use of individual passenger transport is decisive, so rental vehicles, car sharing and taxis are also part of the MIV. Also quads and trikes are part of the motorized individual. E-bikes that have a drive that works at a speed of more than 25 km / h, the starting aid works at a speed of over 6 km / h or that can be driven without using the pedals are considered small or light motorcycles and are therefore part of motorized individual transport and require an insurance license plate . The motorized vehicle gained its importance in the course of mass motorization .


In 1955, 50% of the transport volume in West Germany was made by cars, motorcycles and mopeds. At the same time, the share of public transport decreased. In the mid-1960s, urban development and environmental experts drew attention to the negative effects of motorized transport. German politicians had expert opinions drawn up on the subject. After the first oil crisis in 1973 , measures were taken; however, these were soon reversed.

In West and East Germany , motorized transport developed differently. The government of the GDR only understood the car as a consumer good in 1954; prior to this, the aim was to expand public transport . In 1960 there were already 78 cars per 1000 inhabitants in the west and 32 per 1000 inhabitants in eastern Germany. At the end of the 1980s, this deficit had almost been made up, so in 1989 there were 550 cars per 1000 households in the GDR and 610 cars in the Federal Republic. It should be noted, however, that the GDR cars were technologically backward. The volume of traffic was also significantly lower because the annual mileage of a car in the GDR, at an average of 9,300 km / year, was less than in the Federal Republic. This was due, among other things, to the very inexpensive public transport offer in the GDR and the lack of spare parts for cars.

Motorcycles, which had been meaningless as a means of transport in the Federal Republic since the end of the 1950s, were used more frequently in the GDR. From 1975 there were more cars than motorcycles in East Germany.

Implications and problems

In addition to its benefits, the MIT also has negative effects on the environment , as it generates more traffic per person transported, a higher environmental impact, a significantly higher land consumption (both in stationary and in flowing traffic) and thus higher external costs than public transport or the caused by non-motorized private transport. It is therefore the point of attack of many environmental initiatives that advocate a mobility transition and gentle mobility . In addition, motorized vehicles significantly impair the quality of life, especially in cities, due to space requirements, noise, air pollution and the risk of accidents. Negative effects on traffic safety occur when the traffic density exceeds the critical threshold value for the respective space available and the traffic flow is reduced due to congestion . This is the rule in metropolitan areas. In addition, having one's own car as a status symbol has become less important, especially since the spread of the Internet and mobile communication devices. All of this leads to the expectation that classic motorized vehicles with their own private vehicle will be replaced by other forms of mobility in the long term. A sharp increase in car sharing and car rental has been observed since the 1990s .

Nevertheless, despite all the problems, traffic jams and high fuel costs, many Germans still prefer to drive their own car. A study by the Foundation for Future Issues - an initiative by British American Tobacco shows this clearly using the example of the commute. Out of 100 employees, 53 drive their own car, 16 use local public transport, 14 walk, 10 use bicycles, 4 use a ride and 2 reach their workplaces by train.


Costs for the road user

  • Fixed costs:
  • Distance, location and time-dependent costs (running costs):
    • Fuel costs
    • Wear and tear ( tires , brakes, bearings)
    • Repairs
    • Tolls
    • Parking fees on the way
    • Consequential costs of accidents that are not covered by insurance and have to be paid privately

Costs to the economy

  • Road construction costs , road maintenance costs
  • Follow-up costs of environmental pollution from motorized vehicles
  • Space consumption costs
  • Net property devaluation costs (= property devaluation through road construction - property revaluation through road construction)
  • Restriction of the mobility of non-motorized road users or users of public transport if they are hindered or restricted by the MIT
  • Accident costs
  • Scarcity value of streets and public parking spaces (traffic jam costs, parking time costs (searching traffic))
  • Time costs of road users
  • Light pollution in the dark, especially in metropolitan areas as well as along highways and busy streets

If the economic costs of the motorized vehicle are higher than the sum of the participants in the motorized vehicle as private costs, then one speaks of external costs of the motorized vehicle.

Non-motorized private transport

Non-motorized individual traffic (NMIV) includes pedestrian traffic (also with a wheelchair ), bicycle traffic and some special forms. In Switzerland one also speaks of slow traffic .

Special forms

Some vehicles and means of transport are also included in the NMIV, although they can be motorized. These include above all:

Properties in comparison

In addition to the disadvantage of being able to cover shorter distances, being able to transport less and being more exposed to the weather compared to cars and public transport, the NMIV also has clear advantages: It does not cause any pollutant emissions and almost no noise emissions ; The energy requirement is limited to the body's own energy consumption and is even lower in relation to the distance covered when cycling than when walking, external energy is not required. In addition, the space required by the NMIV is significantly lower than that of the car and public transport. Significantly lower space requirements, both in stationary and in flowing traffic, and lower technical requirements for the traffic systems usually result in significantly lower traffic infrastructure costs for the NMIV and enable shorter routes. The individual costs are also usually lower. In addition, there are positive effects on individual health through increased physical activity. From this comparison of modes of transport , various environmental initiatives repeatedly derive the demand to give the NMIV priority over the MIT in traffic planning .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Individual traffic  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helmut Nuhn, Markus Hesse: Verkehrsgeographie . Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2006, ISBN 3-8252-2687-5 , pp. 35f.
  2. Information on political education No. 312/2011 , p. 47 (PDF; 8 MB).
  3. ^ Peter Kirchberg: Plastic, sheet metal and planned economy , Nicolai Verlag, Berlin 2000.
  4. ^ Helmut Nuhn, Markus Hesse: Verkehrsgeographie . Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2006, ISBN 3-8252-2687-5 , pp. 35f. citing H.-J. Ewers: Development of the transport infrastructure in the new federal states . In: From Politics and Contemporary History , B5, pp. 23–33.
  5. Foundation for Future Issues - an initiative by British American Tobacco : More than every second person drives to work in their own car ... and needs half an hour for this every day ( Memento from April 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), Research News, 253, 35. Born on March 31, 2014.
  6.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  7.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  8. a b Research Information System for Mobility, Traffic and Urban Development : Manifestations of Non-Motorized Traffic (NMIV). March 22, 2018, accessed January 13, 2020 .