Deutschlandticket starts: Demands for more public transport expansion

Local public transport

Deutschlandticket starts: Demands for more public transport expansion

As of today, the “Deutschlandticket” is valid nationwide.  It can be bought online or from a vending machine - like here at Essen Central Station.

As of today, the “Deutschlandticket” is valid nationwide. It can be bought online or from a vending machine – like here at Essen Central Station.

Photo: Fabian Strauch/dpa

The success of the 9-euro ticket is now being followed – after lengthy negotiations between the federal and state governments – by the Deutschlandticket. But is that enough for the permanent switch to buses and trains?

Berlin. The long-awaited Deutschlandticket for buses and trains throughout Germany can be used from today. The ticket has been valid for 49 euros per month nationwide on local public transport since midnight. According to a projection by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), well over three million people have already bought their tickets for May. According to the association, this includes 750,000 people who did not previously have a local transport subscription.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz wished “have a safe trip with the Deutschlandticket starting today” on Twitter. The SPD politician wrote that he was happy about the great interest. The offer makes public transport attractive and helps to achieve climate goals.

The ticket is sold as a monthly cancellable subscription. The VDV and Deutsche Bahn assume that 17 million people will buy the ticket in the future. However, because of the ticket, overcrowded trains are not expected in May. Unlike the 9-euro ticket last summer, which is considered the predecessor, the 49-euro ticket is designed to last.

Bahn expects a “noticeable surge in demand”

“We assume that we will have a noticeable increase in demand with the Deutschlandticket,” said Evelyn Palla, who is responsible for regional transport on the Deutsche Bahn board of directors, the German Press Agency. “But that will not happen suddenly on May 1st.”

The 9-euro ticket was a limited promotion for three months, “where everyone wanted to get their hands on the ticket quickly to enjoy it,” said Palla. The demand for the Deutschlandticket will now “build up continuously over the next few months”.

The Deutschlandticket is financed by the federal and state governments. They want to make public transport more affordable and encourage more people to switch from cars to buses and trains. In the industry, the ticket is also celebrated above all as the “end of the tariff jungle” – however, the countries have already announced their own ideas for this ticket through special rules and additional tickets and have already implemented some of them.

Cheaper for certain groups

The core of the ticket is simple: for 49 euros there is a nationwide ticket that is valid at any time, is non-transferable and also does not allow other people (from 6 years), bicycles or pets to be taken along. There is also a job ticket option: If the employer pays at least 25 percent of the ticket price, the consumer only has to pay EUR 34.30 or less – depending on the employer’s contribution.

However, some federal states offer the ticket at a reduced price for certain groups of people, such as students, trainees or senior citizens. In addition, individual transport associations have added carriage rules for their areas, and in some regions there are also additional tickets for taking bicycles with you or to be able to pass the ticket on to another person.

Demand for public transport expansion

The environmental associations in particular have recently been skeptical that the ticket will actually persuade many people to permanently switch to buses and trains. They also called for an expansion offensive for public transport. The low purchase price is only one factor for switching to buses and trains – a good offer with dense intervals is also important.

“We expect that the demand for the Deutschlandticket will be particularly high in the cities and metropolitan regions. We also have a denser range of public transport there,” said DB Board Member Palla. “We saw with the 9-euro ticket that we sold more tickets in the regions where we have a good public transport offer. That is why it is so important to me that we create offers for environmentally friendly local public transport in places where there is not enough today.”

In the meantime, the social associations have repeatedly called for a 29-euro ticket across the board for some groups of people in the past few months. “With a standard price of 49 euros, the ticket is too expensive especially for families, children and young people as well as for people with little or no income,” said the Alliance for Social Contracts Mobility Turnaround recently. These include the Verdi and IG Metall unions, the social organizations VdK, SoVD and Awo, and the environmental organizations BUND and Nabu.

More articles from this category can be found here: Economics

© dpa-infocom, dpa:230430-99-512453/5 (dpa)

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