In the years ahead, a considerable amount of additional funding will be available to upgrade existing and construct new roads, railways and waterways. Source: Colourbox / 7535010

Infrastructure as a foundation for growth, jobs and prosperity


In Germany, we benefit from one of the best and most efficient transport networks in the world. If things are to stay this way, our existing transport infrastructure has to be permanently maintained, renewed or upgraded and new infrastructure has to be constructed. Investment in our transport infrastructure is an important foundation for growth, jobs, prosperity and quality of life.


Our society is becoming increasingly mobile. We are making more journeys than ever before, spending more and more of our lives in cars, planes, trains or other means of transport. Goods are not stored in warehouses but are delivered just in time. That is why a strategic vision is fundamental to the planning of the transport infrastructure network. This benefits you, as members of the public, and our economy.

Investment ramp-up to ensure mobility

The ever-increasing mobility in our society connects people and moves goods to their destinations as demand requires. As one of the leading exporting nations, Germany relies on a smoothly functioning transport system. However, growing mobility also results in increasing stress and strain on our transport infrastructure. As a result, there is a growing risk of congestion and delays. To ensure that Germany remains economically successful as a modern, attractive place for industry and services, and to enable you to enjoy a high quality of life, the Federal Government has launched its "investment ramp-up" for transport infrastructure. In the years ahead, a considerable amount of additional funding will be available to maintain and upgrade existing and construct new roads, railways and waterways. By 2018, federal government funding will have increased to around 14 billion euros – a rise of almost 40 percent.

New construction projects will be subjected to a benefit-cost-analysis. Source: BMVI

The 2030 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan

270 billion euros for our transport infrastructure

Every 10 to 15 years, the Federal Ministry of Transport prepares a masterplan for the federal transport infrastructure – the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, or FTIP for short. It is the blueprint for the Federal Government's investment. It describes how the federal railway infrastructure, the federal trunk roads and the federal waterways are to be adapted to meet requirements and evolved. In August 2016, the "2030 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan" superseded the old "2003 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan". The new FTIP comprises not only investment in the structural maintenance and repair of the transport infrastructure but also around 1,000 upgrading and new construction projects. It has a total level of funding of 269.6 billion euros. Of this, the roads account for around 49.3 percent, the railways for 41.6 percent and the waterways for 9.1 percent.

Structural maintenance to take precedence over upgrading and new construction

The top priority in the FTIP is the structural maintenance of the existing transport network. For this reason, the FTIP 2030 first determines how much money is needed for structural maintenance. Because the volume of traffic is constantly rising, existing transport infrastructure has to be upgraded and new infrastructure has to be constructed. Thus, for the FTIP 2030, around 2,000 proposals for upgrading and new construction projects in all modes of transport were reviewed. Are the projects necessary to manage future traffic levels? Are they beneficial to the whole economy? What impact will they have on environmental protection and nature conservation? To generate maximum benefit for the public and the economy, the funds will be channelled into projects with significant impacts on large areas. Major arteries and junctions on the transport network will be strengthened and bottlenecks removed. This will optimize the flow of traffic and enhance the capacity of the overall network.

Public participation with around 39,000 comments

For the first time, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure conducted a public participation exercise on the Draft FTIP 2030. All interested parties were able to obtain comprehensive information on the Draft FTIP 2030. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure received a total of around 39,000 comments within the specified period and reviewed their contents. Given the high number of comments, they were not answered individually, but were dealt with in a consolidated form in a Report on the Participatory Process. This report describes, in a general manner, the key demands made, their appraisal by the Ministry and the need for amendments to the FTIP 2030 derived from the comments.

Benchmarks of the FTIP 2030

The FTIP is a realistic and fundable overall strategy for the structural maintenance and construction of our transport infrastructure.

Between 2016 and 2030, a total of around 69 percent of the funds will be invested in the structural maintenance of transport infrastructure (in the FTIP 2003 the figure was 56 percent).

Investment will be made in those places where people and the economy derive the greatest benefit. 87 percent of the funds will be invested in projects with significant impacts on large areas.

On around 2,000 kilometres of motorways and around 800 kilometres of railway lines.

For the first time, the public was able to have a say in the FTIP – from the initial approach through project proposals to the final draft.

The FTIP is a realistic and fundable overall strategy for the structural maintenance and construction of our transport infrastructure.

The innovation forum’s objective is to progress transport projects in Germany more quickly. Source: Fotolia / djama

Innovation forum for speeding up the planning process

Progressing transport projects more quickly

You have undoubtedly been annoyed at least once by the fact that the four-lane express road that you use every day on your way to work has been a narrow two-lane chokepoint for months. Compared with other European countries, Germany, as a transit country for international long-distance traffic, already has a dense and good network of roads, railways and waterways. However, the planning and approval of construction works for the maintenance and upgrading of existing transport infrastructure and the construction of new infrastructure often take too long in Germany compared with other countries. For this reason, the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt, has launched the "Innovation Forum for Speeding up the Planning Process". The objective is to progress more quickly the planning of infrastructure projects in Germany.

"Think tank" is working on solutions

What is the exact reason why planning in Germany takes so long compared with other countries? If, for instance, a bridge is to be replaced by a new structure at the same site, should it not be significantly easier to obtain approval than is the case when constructing a new road or line. The newly founded Innovation Forum sees itself as a think tank whose objective is to identify the causes of the long planning and approval times and present solutions. Two working groups, comprising experts from public authorities, academia, industry and trade associations, will develop specific proposals on how planning and approval procedures can be speeded up in the future. This is to involve optimizing administrative processes and nature conservation reviews. But they also believe that there is potential inherent in the digitalization of procedures.

Consolidating responsibilities for motorways in a "one stop shop"

In October 2016, the Federal Government and federal states reached agreement on a recast of the financial relations between the Federal Government and the federal states starting in 2020. This decision also involves a reform of the delegation of administrative powers, focusing on the federal motorways. Ownership of the motorways themselves is to remain in the hands of the Federal Government, as has been the case hitherto. The objective is to create a federal infrastructure company, which is to be responsible, as a one-stop shop, for the planning, construction, maintenance, operation and funding of the motorways. The establishment of such an infrastructure company is also a crucial measure for speeding up the planning process, to enable a more streamlined planning of projects than has so far been the case in the different administrative structures of the federal states.

The "Transport Investment Report” contains information on every investment made in our federal railways, trunk roads and waterways. Source: Fotolia / bluedesign

Transport Investment Report

Transparency for parliament and the public

How much does the Federal Ministry of Transport invest each year in HGV parking areas on motorways? What are the investment priorities in federal railway infrastructure? Each year, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure compiles the investment in the railways, roads and waterways in the "Transport Investment Report". It provides the German Bundestag, as the legislature, plus experts and interested members of the public with information on the investment by the Federal Government in its transport infrastructure.

Five billion euros for new railway projects

The most recent transport investment report, covering the year 2014, was submitted to the Bundestag in June 2016 and made available to the public on the Internet. It describes, for instance, that in 2014:

  • a total of just under five billion euros was provided for funding railway infrastructure;
  • around 5.5 billion euros was spent on investment in the federal trunk roads; over the period from 2001 to 2014, a total of 1,258 new motorway kilometres were constructed and 1,103 kilometres were widened to six or more lanes;
  • in the case of the federal waterways, 1.8 billion euros was spent on investment, operation, maintenance and administration.

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The planned infrastructure charge (passenger car toll - ”Pkw-Maut”) is a key pillar of the user pays system. Source: Fotolia / stockWERK

The "user pays" principle

Traffic funds transport

Our transport infrastructure in Germany is largely financed from the Federal Government's tax revenue and EU funds. There are no plans to change this in the future. However, to enable us to invest even more than in the past in the urgently required structural maintenance and upgrading of our transport infrastructure and the construction of new infrastructure and to be more independent of the Federal Government's budgetary situation, we want to push ahead with making greater use of the "user pays" principle. This means that the transport infrastructure is partly funded by the traffic that uses it. Two major pillars of the "user pays" principle are the HGV tolling scheme and infrastructure charging.

HGV tolling on all federal highways as of 2018

The HGV tolling scheme has been in place since 2005 and applies to commercial vehicles engaged in road haulage with a maximum permissible weight of 7.5 tonnes or more. With the additional revenue generated by the HGV tolling scheme, the Federal Government can ensure on a permanent basis that more investment is made. It is channelled directly into the modernization of our road infrastructure. At present, around 12,800 km of federal motorways and around 2,300 km of federal highways are tolled. However, most of the approximately 40,000 km of federal highways are not tolled, although they are used by HGVs and subjected to the stress and strain imposed by these vehicles. To save a few euros, many HGVs avoid using the tolled motorways and federal highways – and it is the people who live and work along these diversionary routes that suffer. For this reason, HGVs will have to pay tolls for the use of all the approximately 40,000 km of federal highways as of mid-2018. This is likely to generate additional revenue totalling around two billion euros.

Infrastructure charging: more opportunities, more fairness

Austria has been doing it since 1997, and Switzerland started way back in 1985. In almost all our neighbours, infrastructure charging ("passenger car tolls") has been common practice for a long time. One thing is clear – if we want to preserve a high-capacity transport network in Germany, there is no getting around passenger car tolls. The relevant Act on the Introduction of Infrastructure Charging for Passenger Cars and Motor Homes entered into force on 12 June 2015. The infrastructure charge will be levied with the help of an electronic vignette (e-vignette). The price of an annual vignette for passenger cars will be calculated based on their engine capacity and environmental performance. For motor homes, it will be based on the weight of the vehicle. However, the actual levying of the toll has been temporarily suspended pending confirmation by the European Court of Justice that it is compatible with European law.

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Central transport hubs will be joined up to form a coherent core network. Source: Fotolia / i-picture


Facilitating movement throughout Europe

Even though we have a good transport network in Europe, there are many bottlenecks in our system of roads, railways and waterways. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure supports the European Commission's desire to better interlink transport infrastructure throughout Europe and to join up the key transport hubs to form a coherent core network. Such a "Trans-European Transport Network" will optimize transport infrastructure, strengthen the Internal Market and improve economic and social cohesion in the European Union. In this way, everyone will be able to move more easily throughout Europe and experience its diversity.

Many long-distance routes pass through Germany

The European Commission's guidelines on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) provide a reference framework for the establishment and development of more efficient European transport infrastructure. They contain initial common ideas for the upgrading of around 58,000 km of trunk roads – especially European routes –, around 70,000 km of railway lines and around 12,000 km of waterways. The TEN-T will be developed through a dual-layer structure comprising a "comprehensive network" and a "core network". In the core network, nine "corridors" have been created, reflecting the major long-distance routes in Europe. Six of these corridors pass through Germany. A European coordinator has been appointed for each corridor. Together with the Member States, they are to draw up work plans for the corridors and monitor their implementation. The core network is due to be completed by 2030 and the comprehensive network by 2050.

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) addresses the funding of the development of the trans-European transport network. It specifies, for instance, which schemes and projects can be funded and the level of funding. In the ongoing funding period (2014 to 2020), a total of 12.9 billion euros is available for transport infrastructure. Applications can be submitted by all EU Member States or, with their consent, by public or private sector corporations. In Germany, for instance, the upgrade of the railway line between Saarbrücken and Ludwigshafen (POS North) is being funded. The objective is to link the French high-speed rail network to the German high-speed network, thereby creating a cross-border high-speed rail link. The focus is also on upgrading the around 73 kilometre long railway line between Emmerich and Oberhausen. This line is an important segment of the European rail freight corridor from Rotterdam to Genoa.

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