In Austria, a Yearly Transit Pass Was Offered in Exchange for a Climate Tattoo
Following the introduction of a yearly public transportation pass in Austria, an innovative proposal emerged — obtain the pass by getting a tattoo. The regular cost of such a pass is 1095 euros, as reported by The Independent.
In October 2021, Austria introduced the Klimaticket—an annual subscription that grants access to all forms of public transportation within the country. Unlike the German Deutschlandticket, this pass was less accessible, with a price of 1095 euros for 12 months. Presently, around 245,000 individuals utilize it, while Austria's population numbers nearly 9 million residents.
During summer festivals across the country, designated stations were set up to participate in the initiative — getting a tattoo featuring the inscription "Klimaticket" would grant a complimentary pass. However, only the first three attendees at each festival who agreed to ink the specified inscription onto their skin received the free transit pass.
The brainchild of this climate-conscious endeavor was Leonore Gewessler, a deputy from the Green Party and Austrian Minister of Climate. She unveiled the initiative's details at a music festival over the weekend, posting a photograph of her own hand with the words "Gewessler takes the initiative," as reported by The Telegraph.
Although her tattoo was temporary, a festival booth offered free train tickets to the first three individuals who obtained permanent "Klimaticket" tattoos. The pop-up tattoo parlor displayed a banner reading "Aktion geht unter die Haut" (Action that Gets Under the Skin) and appeared at several events throughout the summer.
This initiative sparked a wave of criticism. The Austrian newspaper Standard deemed it "ecological nonsense," while Salzburger Nachrichten labeled it "blatant cynicism."
Representative of the liberal NEOS party, Henrike Brandstötter, expressed her outrage: "To offer people money in exchange for advertising on their skin reflects the government's disrespectful view of human dignity."
Minister Gewessler responded that the tattooing took place only during daylight hours and exclusively for individuals aged 18 and above. She also noted that most participants already had tattoos prior to the initiative.