USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
The city of Stuttgart will resume issuing fine dust alerts between Oct. 15 and April 15, 2018, occasionally in Stuttgart as a voluntary measure to prevent added smog and air pollution in the area.
The first alerts can be issued at anytime between the set timeframe however, according to the city of Stuttgart, on Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) and Jan. 6 (Epiphany), the city won’t issue fine dust alerts.
Fine dust alerts are issued by the city when the “Deutscher Wetterdienst,” or German Weather Service, predicts lowered movement of air on two successive days. According to the German weather service, it typically takes a week for levels to be reduced.
Currently, city authorities request commuters to travel by public transportation or car-sharing on a voluntary basis, but officials say non-compliance may be subject to fines in the future if air pollution is not reduced.
During the fine dust season (Oct. 15 and April 15, 2018), special fine dust tickets (day tickets “UmweltTagesTicket” only) for “Verkehrs-und Tarifbund Stuttgart” (VVS) public transportation will be offered, meaning that day tickets, pending the various zones, will be reduced not only on a fine dust alert day, but throughout the fine dust season. Commuters can purchase tickets through the VVS-App, at the various ticket machines or with the bus driver. Short distance tickets and group tickets are exempt from the offer.
During the fine dust alerts, drivers can use the electric car sharing “Car2go” in the greater Stuttgart area for €0.25 per minute instead of €0.29.
All S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains will run on an increased schedule during the morning and evening rush hours.
During the fine dust alert, residents are also encouraged not to use wood-burning stoves in their homes.
Stuttgart’s location in the “Kessel,” or valley, leads to higher concentrations of air pollutants. Stuttgart is considered one of the most polluted cities in Germany, and levels of the harmful fine dust have long been well above the 50 micrograms per cubic liter imposed as a limit by the European Union.
Fine dust is harmful to health as air pollution is a major factor in causing respiratory diseases.