How many people in Germany will use the €9 ticket?

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 5 May, 2022 Updated Thu 5 May 2022 10:44 CEST
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A tram at Erfurt's Domplatz. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Martin Schutt

There's a big buzz around Germany's hugely reduced public transport ticket that comes into force in June. Just how many people plan to use it?

As energy bills and the cost of everyday goods skyrocket due to inflation, there is hope on the horizon: the coalition government has put together a financial package that will provide some relief to people

Among the measures are a €300 one-off allowance for tax-payers, a fuel tax cut and a €9 monthly travel ticket.

READ ALSO: The key dates for Germany's energy relief payouts

The €9 ticket - which will be valid on local buses, trains and trams throughout the country from June until September - has arguably created the most buzz. Many are watching to see how successful it will be - because it could be the key to getting people to switch to public transport from their cars in future.

How popular will it be?

The jury is out in how many people will actually make use of the €9 monthly ticket, but a new survey sheds some light on people's plans.  

According to the survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of DPA, a majority of people in Germany are positive about the ticket. About 33 percent of respondents said they would use it to travel by bus or train, and 22 percent said they "probably" would try it out.

However, more than a third of respondents - 37 percent - said they did not plan on using the €9 ticket at all.

A large majority - 80 percent of those questioned - said they didn't yet have a ticket subscription (known as an Abo) for local public transport.

The willingness to use the ticket also seems to be a question of age: 48 percent of the 18- to 24-year-olds said they would definitely want to use it, while 26 percent said they probably would. In the group of people aged 55 and over, only 26 percent said definitely planned to use it, and 18 percent said they probably would.

Of those who do not want to use the ticket, a majority (51 percent) said it was because they don't need it. 

Just over one in three (34 percent) said they would prefer to use other means of transport. A quarter (26 percent) said the additional expense of using buses and trains was too great.

In contrast, however, only 9 percent of respondents said they thought the ticket was a political mistake. And only a very small minority (3 percent) think the ticket is still too expensive at €9 per month.

More than 2,000 adults in Germany were asked for their opinion in the survey. 

Experts think the offer could be improved upon to cater to more of the population. 

"We think that more is needed than a €9 ticket," said Bastian Kettner, public transport expert at Verkehrsclub Deutschland.

"What is important is the expansion of public transport as a whole and its solid financing."

Kettner said rural parts of Germany seem to have been forgotten.

"Particularly in rural areas, where the offer is thin, the added value of the ticket is not very great, even if it is cheap," he said. "We say that there must be at least an hourly public transport service in every town with a population of 200 or more."

How will Germans use the ticket?

When it comes to how the ticket will be used, 51 percent of respondents said they wanted to use it mainly for tourist trips. According to the German Tourism Association, the offer is particularly attractive for day tourists and a good way to explore your own surroundings by bus and regional train.

READ ALSO: How to explore Germany by train with the €9 ticket

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents want to use the ticket for private journeys. Just under a third (31 percent) intend to use it primarily to travel to work.

The Bundesverband Schienennahverkehr (Federal Association of Local Rail Transport) said trains, buses and trams would be busier this year.

"More than 50 percent of the respondents say that they will use or probably want to use the 9-Euro-Ticket - this will certainly lead to an increase in passengers on public transport and thus also to a higher utilisation of the SPNV (regional and local) trains," said Chief Executive Frank Zerban.

Zerban said action plans are needed from local transport bosses to enable more staff and additional vehicle capacities - with a focus on weekends and tourist regions.

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