It may take some time for gasoline prices to fall to the extent that Wednesday's tax rate cut would have suggested, but they're not quite as high as the day before.

Motorists are happy about that, but the policy is by no means correct.

Because in principle, slowly and steadily rising fuel prices are the most effective and most appropriate means in a free society to achieve a change of direction in transport policy - at least a smarter one than, for example, barricading main roads, as is becoming the fashion in Frankfurt, and other unnecessary forms of dirigisme in the traffic.

Citizens don't shy away from higher petrol prices, they can decide for themselves how to deal with them.

There is evidence that in the early months of the year, during their steep rise, sales fell by about a tenth.

It was therefore driven less or more carefully.

Anyone who is really dependent on driving a car can, in case of doubt, be relieved by a higher commuter allowance.

Equally, it's silly to squander the not-always-brilliant but solid public transit perk, like the second perk that went into effect on Wednesday.

If some of the citizens of the Rhine-Main area, who are currently buying hundreds of thousands of the 9-euro ticket, then commute by train and bus instead of by car, so be it.

But in principle, public transport should also be properly priced, it is expensive enough.

And subsidizing weekend trips by train is not a matter for the state anyway.

The billions would have been better invested in the expansion of the railway network, for example, and the money would not have fizzled out after three months.

But one thing is absolutely fantastic about the cheap monthly ticket for local transport: that it is valid throughout Germany, across all network borders.

In the foreseeable future, towards the end of the three-month period at the latest, the high demand will trigger a discussion as to what can be learned from this special offer and possibly maintained.

In any case, this: the overly complex tariffs for local transport should be simplified.

If this succeeds, then the careless spending of taxpayer money this summer on petrol and rail concessions would at least have been good for something.

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