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Intercity bus service within Germany fell out of favour as post-war prosperity increased, and became almost extinct when legislation was introduced in the 1980s to protect the national railway.After that market was deregulated in 2012, some 150 new intercity bus lines have been established, leading to a significant shift from rail to bus for long journeys., abbreviated BAB), which translates as "federal motorway".Only federally built controlled-access highways meeting certain construction standards including at least two lanes per direction are called "Bundesautobahn".They have their own, blue-coloured signs and their own numbering system.A further increase of traffic is expected in the future.High-speed vehicular traffic has a long tradition in Germany given that the first freeway (Autobahn) in the world, the AVUS, and the world's first automobile were developed and built in Germany.East-west routes are usually even-numbered, north-south routes are usually odd-numbered.
Air travel is used for greater distances within Germany but faces competition from the state-owned Deutsche Bahn's rail network.
In the past few decades, much of the freight traffic shifted from rail to road, which led the Federal Government to introduce a motor toll for trucks in 2005.
Individual road usage increased resulting in a relatively high traffic density to other nations.
Shorter highways of regional importance have double digit numbers (like A 24, connecting Berlin and Hamburg).
Very short stretches built for heavy local traffic (for example ring roads or the A 555 from Cologne to Bonn) usually have three digits, where the first digit depends on the region.