Berlin giving women public transport discount (CityLab)

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The German capital is celebrating Equal Pay Day with the Frauenticket, a discounted fare that reflects the gender pay gap. Women traveling around Berlin on Monday will find that public transit costs them quite a bit less than usual—and quite a bit less than it costs men, too.

For one day, March 18, the city’s transit authority BVG is selling a special Frauenticket, a women-only day pass that allows travel anywhere in the city all day for €5.50, instead of the usual €7—a 21 percent reduction on the regular fare. BVG is offering the ticket on March 18th in honor of Germany’s national Equal Pay Day. The discount reflects to the percentage that female German workers are paid less compared to their male counterparts.

It could feasibly be argued that the special ticket discriminates against men by obliging them to pay more for the same service. On this subject, however, the BVG is fairly forthright, saying in a press release:

It is not our intention that men feel discriminated against by the action. If that happens, we apologize. On the other hand, who apologizes to the women who earn on average 21% less? Most men of Berlin will not only understand this action, but also support it. Especially since this small gesture of solidarity is disproportionate to what women are deprived of income on a yearly basis.

This move comes on the heels of International Women’s Day, on March 8th. This year, a re-unified Berlin celebrated International Women’s Day as a public holiday for the first time, reviving a day off that occurred annually in East Berlin, before the country of which it was capital was dissolved in 1991. It also partly rectified a situation where Berlin has fewer public holidays than other German states.

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Written by Long Branch Mike