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Deutsche Bahn to offer 60,000 extra seats on German regional trains

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is increasing its regional train services to offer 60,000 extra seats per day from June to coincide with the €9 ticket offer.

A regional train stands on the new track at Homburger Damm in Frankfurt.
A regional train stands on the new track at Homburger Damm in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Helmut Fricke

“DB Regio is running more than 50 additional trains for the expected increase in the number of passengers from June 1st,” the company said.

The extra trains will mean DB can offer 250 additional services and 60,000 additional seats per day. The additional vehicles will be used primarily along tourist routes. According to the company, an average of about 7,000 regional trains offering 22,000 services are in operation nationwide in Germany every day.

The number of employees at stations and on trains will also increase. More than 700 extra service and security staff will help coordinate boarding and disembarking, as well as assisting passengers with luggage and providing information.

From June until the end of August, people in Germany can buy a reduced-price ticket for public transport at a cost of €9 per month.

The ticket, which is part of measures to ease the cost of living, allows people to use all public transport across the country, whether it’s buses, trams, the S-Bahn, the U-Bahn or regional trains. 

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The €9 ticket cannot be used on long-distance services with ICE, Intercity and Eurocity, the trains of the railway competitor Flix and on long-distance buses.

Transport bosses are expecting travel to be rammed. 

Jörg Sandvoß, CEO of DB Regio said: “The 9-Euro-Ticket is a unique opportunity for public transport and climate protection in Germany.

“At the same time, it is a great experiment for public transport as a whole. We are preparing and literally putting everything we have into motion – trains, buses, service staff.

“Everyone will benefit from this. Subscription customers as well as passengers who are returning after a long break from corona or who are discovering the attractiveness of trains and buses for themselves. All of this is only possible thanks to our employees, who are doing an incredible job these days.”

Due to the busy services, DB said services could reach their limits – and said people taking bikes on board won’t always be guaranteed a space. Bikes are not included on the €9 ticket. 

“Taking bicycles along cannot always be guaranteed,” said Sandvoß.

More than 200,000 tickets sold

Deutsche Bahn said it had already sold more than 200,000 of the €9 tickets in the first hours of the pre-sale, which started on Monday morning.

Sandvoß said the firm was already experiencing a “historically large” take-up on sales.

However, passengers could face disruption due to lots of building work on the tracks in summer. 

Rail operators have urged travellers to check their journey isn’t disrupted by construction work before travelling.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Germany considers ‘Klimaticket’ to replace €9 public transport offer

Germany could well be heading for more affordable public transport after the success of the €9 ticket.

Germany considers 'Klimaticket' to replace €9 public transport offer

More than 20 million people bought the €9 monthly travel ticket in June aimed at helping people during the energy crisis. 

And now the German government is thinking about introducing a ‘climate ticket’ as a replacement to the cheap transport offer that runs until the end of August. 

According to a draft of the emergency climate protection programme (Klimaschutzsofortprogramm), the government – made up of a coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), could offer a “Klimaticket” for use on local public transport. 

The draft plans, which were made available to business daily the Handelsblatt, state that “tariff measures are to be used to permanently increase the attractiveness of local public transport”.

According to the government proposals, “a discounted ‘climate ticket’ as a standardised state local transport monthly or annual ticket for regional rail passenger transport and local public transport” would ensure low-cost rail travel in the future.

Germany’s states are responsible for local public transport. However, the federal government is prepared to “financially support” a “climate ticket”. Details are still being examined, however. For instance, the draft does not indicate how much a ‘climate ticket’ could cost consumers.

A similar ticket exists in Austria.

READ ALSO: Less traffic, more ticket sales: How the €9 offer has impacted Germany

Social rights groups and politicians have been calling on the government to extend the €9 offer, or consider another cheap transport deal, such as the €365 yearly ticket.

Since June 1st, people in Germany have been able to use the €9 ticket to travel on all public transport buses, trains and trams throughout the country. The ticket is not valid on long-distance trains. 

But Transport Minister Volker Wissing and Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the offer would not be extended due to the tough economic situation. 

According to German media, the Federal Environment Agency is in favour of a successor model after the €9 ticket expires, which could be financed by abolishing climate-damaging subsidies in the transport sector.

Germany is trying to think of ways to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 in order to achieve climate goals. 

All ministries have to submit proposals to Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The federal cabinet is expected to approve the climate protection programme in mid-July.

How does the ticket work in Austria?

The Klimaticket in Austria is billed as being a “valuable contribution to the climate of our planet”, according to its website.

It allows people to “use all scheduled services (public and private rail, city and public transport) in a specific area for a year: regional, cross-regional and nationwide”.

The national ticket – the Klimaticket Ö – includes all public transport throughout the whole of Austria, but at €1,095 for a year, it isn’t cheap. However, it is valid on both regional and long-distance transport. 

There are also region-specific Klimatickets which are much more affordable. The Salzburg ticket, for example, costs around €270 per year

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