Posted on 09/02/2020
In a bid to cut harmful carbon emissions and boost public transportation, Vienna will reward car-free travel with free admission to cultural venues across the city.
Leave your car at home and we'll give you free tickets to museums and concerts across the city. That's the offer that Vienna is proposing to those who opt to travel on foot, bike or public transport instead.
On Monday, the Austrian capital announced the launch of a new app that will track users' mode of transport and calculate the CO2 saved compared to driving.
Once the user has stored up 20 kilograms of CO2 savings - possible with about two weeks of car-free commuting - they'll be awarded one "culture token". These tokens show up as a QR code on the app and can be exchanged for free admission into four participating cultural venues across the city: a museum, an art exhibition space, a theatre and a concert hall.
There is no limit to the number of tokens that can be earned with the scheme but a user can only hold a maximum of five tokens at a time.
"We want to reward CO2 reduction with a cultural experience," Vienna city council member Peter Hanke told Austrian press in regards to the program.
Initially the app will be trialled by just 1,000 users for six months starting on 26 February. If successful, the scheme will be rolled out across the capital in the autumn with many other museums and cultural venues in the city already expressing interest in taking part.
Vienna is not alone in promoting sustainable travel.
The city of Surabaya in Indonesia, a nation that is the world's second-biggest marine polluter, has reduced its levels of plastic waste by offering bus tickets in exchange for trash. 16,000 passengers each week now trade in their plastic waste for free travel.