EXPLAINED: Deutsche Bahn’s new ticket rules for 2022

From the beginning of this year customers travelling on Germany’s Deutsche Bahn network have no longer been able to buy their tickets from staff on board the train. Here’s what you need to know about the change. 

A ticket vending machine at Lutherstadt Wittenberg main station (Saxony-Anhalt), with two regional trains in the background.
A ticket vending machine at Lutherstadt Wittenberg main station (Saxony-Anhalt), with two regional trains in the background. Photo: picture alliance / Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa | Jan Woitas

Germany’s long-distance rail network – Deutsche Bahn – has changed its ticketing rules for 2022, meaning that it will no longer be possible to buy a paper ticket from the train staff after boarding. 

Previously, travellers in a hurry could pay for their journey retrospectively after boarding – with a surcharge of 17 euros for the ticket service on the train. 

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Germany in 2022

However, late-running passengers will still be able to purchase a ticket via the app or the rail website up to ten minutes after departure of the train.

What are the fines?

Boarding a Deutsche Bahn train without a paper or an online ticket could get very expensive. 

According to the new rules, passengers without a ticket will be charged double the fare, with a minimum fine of 60 euros. In extreme cases, Deutsche Bahn could charge double the flex fare for the entire train connection, which could mean a charge of up to 300 euros.

The only exceptions to the rule are for severely disabled people, who may continue to purchase their tickets from staff onboard the train and receive an invoice at a later date.

Travellers are therefore advised to buy a ticket before boarding, either online, at the ticket office or at a ticket machine.

What if there is no ticket office, the ticket machine is defective or there is no internet connection?

If there is no ticket counter and no other functioning ticket machine, then a ticket should be purchased online. Anyone who quickly buys a ticket online after departure must do so within a time limit of 10 minutes. If they don’t do so within the time limit, they will have to pay a fine. 

However, if the mobile connection in the train is too poor, or if the WIFI connection is disrupted, the train staff will check the situation and, in appropriate circumstances, will allow the ticket to be purchased on board. 

READ ALSO: Berlin transport network launches flexi-ticket for post-pandemic travel

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EXPLAINED: How will Berlin’s new €29 transport ticket work?

Germany’s capital launched its follow-up to the €9 ticket on Tuesday, but the ticket will only be valid for those with subscriptions. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How will Berlin’s new €29 transport ticket work?

Tickets for the new €29 Berlin city ticket went on sale on Tuesday and eager passengers will be wondering how they can get their hands on the discount offer. However, unlike the nationwide €9 ticket, Berlin’s travel deal will only be valid in the AB fare zone of Berlin and for customers with a yearly subscription.

Why has Berlin brought in the ticket?

The Berlin state government and transport companies in Berlin developed the ticket to set an example for climate protection and make public transportation more attractive for Berliners. The state of Berlin is financing the offer which will bridge the gap between the end of the €9 ticket offer and a nationwide successor which should arrive in January.

READ ALSO: Berlin gets green light to launch €29 transport ticket

Where and when will the ticket be valid?

The €29 ticket will be valid on all buses, trams, U-bahns and S-bahns within the AB fare zone in the city of Berlin. Those wanting to travel into the C zone will need to buy an extension ticket.

Who is the ticket for?

Some people might be disappointed to find out that the ticket will only be available as part of a yearly subscription. All other tickets will retain their usual prices.

That means that people won’t be able to buy a monthly ticket for €29 unless it’s part of a yearly package, so certain groups of people, such as tourists, may not benefit from the offer.

From October 1st to December 31st, 2022, the monthly price for the following subscriptions in the Berlin AB fare zone will be reduced to €29:

–   VBB-Umweltkarten subscriptions with monthly and annual payments

–   10 o’clock ticket subscriptions with monthly and annual payments

–   VBB company tickets with monthly and yearly payments

–   Education monthly subscription ticket with monthly payments

The offer will not apply to ABC semester tickets. 

How will payment for the ticket work?

According to information from BVG, subscribers who pay monthly will automatically be charged the lower amount, while compensation for those who pay annually is expected to arrive at the end of the promotional period.

Can I get a yearly subscription starting from October and still benefit?

Yes. If you sign up for a yearly subscription on the BVG or VBB website, starting from October, you will be charged the lower price for the first three months of the subscription. If you start in November or December, you will pay the lower price for just those months. 

What happens once the promotion is over?

For those who don’t cancel their subscription by December 31st, their subscription contract will run for a total of 12 months. However, passengers can also switch to another VBB fare product, to another fare zone or to the successor product to the €9 ticket, which is expected to be valid throughout Germany from January 1st.

READ ALSO: Germany to set out plans for €49 transport ticket in October

When can the subscription be cancelled?

It seems that people will be able to cancel their yearly subscriptions. The BVG website says: “If we were not able to convince you of our performance and you decide not to continue the subscription beyond the promotional period, you can cancel your subscription at any time at the end of the month without any disadvantages.”


Subscription – (das) Abonnement

Extension ticket – (der) Anschlussfahrausweis

Yearly – jährlich

Monthly – monatlich

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