It has been a busy summer in Germany, with the construction of the country’s new high-speed railway linking the capital, Berlin, and Munich, and the opening of a new airport near Cologne.
But in recent weeks, German media have begun to pick up on a trend in some European countries, where public transport is increasingly being seen as a luxury, not a necessity.
A survey by Deutsche Telekom found that one in five Germans now say that public transport, while useful in some ways, is a luxury that they do not need.
In Denmark, the figure was 15%.
A survey of German-speaking countries by German magazine Der Spiegel showed that one third of Germans said public transport was not essential for their daily life, and a quarter thought it was.
In the Netherlands, it was 20%.
In Denmark and Belgium, it ranged from a low of 8% in France to a high of 22% in Germany.
In Austria, public transport rose to 18%, in Sweden it was 18%, and in Italy it was 22%.
In Austria the figure stood at 20%.
According to Deutsche Telekems survey, public transit use was highest in the northern city of Hamburg, followed by Vienna and the city of Stuttgart.
In all three, public transportation usage was higher than in most other European cities, where the average use was about 10%.
The survey was conducted in March and April of this year.
It showed that, as in the UK, German cities with the highest rates of public transport use are also among the most densely populated.
For example, in Hamburg the average public transport usage was 9.7%, whereas in Stuttgarterplatz it was 8.3%.
In London, the average was 6.4%, while in Brussels, it stood at 7.6%.
In France, where almost a third of people are commuting by public transport at some point a day, the figures were even worse.
In Paris, where over one in four residents commute by public transit at least once a month, the number was 9% and in the capital it was 14%.
In Germany, public travel was the number one reason given by those in the survey, with 36% citing public transport as a necessity, while just 11% cited other reasons.
The lowest was in the southern German city of Cologne, where just 7% cited public transport.
The survey also found that a third (34%) of Germans in the south-eastern city of Dortmund, which was a hub for Germany’s “Blue Wall” national wall and the site of a Nazi concentration camp, said public travel as a matter of necessity.
In the northern cities of Hamburg and Frankfurt, where a third and a half of people commute by private car, the situation was similar.
In Germany the number of people commuting by private cars rose to 31% in the past year, up from 15% in 2015.
In 2015, this figure stood just below the EU average of 33%.
The rise in private car use is largely due to the arrival of the new, higher-speed “Hahn-Packer” train line, which is scheduled to be operational by 2022.
The train is expected to make a big difference in public transport rates.
According to the survey results, the most frequent reason given for public transport in the country is that it was necessary, while a third said it was not necessary.
The other two were that the train was expensive and that the city was too far away.
In Hamburg, for example, a third cited the train as not essential, while 15% said it would be expensive.
In Stuttgarst, a city of around 1 million people in the German state of Saxony, the biggest public transport demand came from people in their 50s and 60s, with 17% saying the train would be a necessity and a similar proportion citing it as not necessary at all.
In Cologne, for instance, people in this age group said the train wouldn’t be necessary.
The survey found that public transportation use was higher in cities such as Cologne, Munich and Hamburg.
In Vienna, the rate of public transportation used rose to 23%.
In the south of Germany, in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where nearly half of the population lives in a household of at least one person, public use rose to 29% last year.
In the state, which borders Austria and Belgium and lies on the Schengen zone of border crossings, public usage is lower than in the rest of the EU.
In Hamburg, it rose to 26%.
In Brussels, public-transport use rose from 10% in 2016 to 22% last season, while in the east of the city it rose from 9% to 19%.
In Vienna, public traffic usage rose to 24% last summer.
In Brussels, the public transport system also saw a sharp increase from 5% to 8% this summer.
In Paris, the population of Paris rose by 15%