BERLIN, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Germany's railway stations were estimated to lack hundreds of thousands of bicycle parking spaces, German media reported on Monday.
The German Association of Cities estimated that there was a need for more than one million additional bicycle parking spaces at German railway stations, according to German media.
"The demand for bicycles is enormous, especially in the surrounding areas of larger cities, where many commuters use bicycles to travel by train," said a spokesperson from the German Association of Cities.
The expansion of parking spaces had not been taken into account in German railway reforms but "sustainable mobility chains" were essential to shift towards climate-friendly transport modes, according to the spokesperson from the German Association of Cities.
In April, the German Ministry for the Environment and Deutsche Bahn announced a new initiative called bike+ride to create up to 100,000 new bicycle parking spaces at German train stations by the end of 2022.
The bike+ride initiative was introduced within the framework of Germany's national climate protection plan in order to promote environmentally friendly mobility and facilitate the switch to rail travel.
As part of the initiative, the German environment ministry announced to bear 40 percent of the costs for new parking spaces or bicycle stations at railway stations.
In the first application round for the new initiative at the start of 2019, however, only 10 applications were submitted from four federal states to build 2,700 new bicycle parking spaces, the environment ministry told the German Press Agency.
In addition, Deutsche Bahn had received 250 further requests for on-site visits. The German environment ministry added that it was therefore expecting greater demand in the second application phase which was now underway.
In the political debate on more climate protection, there has been broad agreement on the need to promote rail transport in Germany, particularly through a reduction of the value-added tax for train journeys.
On Monday, Ulrike Demmer, German government deputy spokesperson, said that the government welcomed "all proposals" on how to advance climate protection in Germany.
However, it was a matter of "putting together" an overall package and no decision would be made regarding a reduction of the VAT on train tickets before September, Demmer noted.