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Germany’s €9 ticket should be extended by two months, say transport chiefs

German public transport operators want to see the €9 ticket offer extended to give politicians time to find a permanent solution.

Travellers get on and off a regional train in Hanover.
Travellers get on and off a regional train in Hanover. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Matthey

Since June people in Germany have been able to ride on public transport very cheaply thanks to the ticket that was brought in to relieve households as energy bills spiral upwards. 

The offer runs until the end of August. But many people want to see it extended or a new ticket introduced. 

Now the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) has given their view.

“We need a follow-up solution quickly,” Oliver Wolff, head of the VDV, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“The best thing would be to extend the campaign for another two months as a transitional solution.

“The ticket could continue to be valid in September and October and thus relieve citizens of the high energy prices,” Wolff said.

The ticket allows passengers to travel on local and regional trains, buses and trams throughout Germany at a price of just €9 per month. Long-distance trains are not included in the offer.

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The interim solution of two months could give politicians and the industry time to develop a permanent offer for a nationwide local transport ticket, Wolff said.

He called on the federal and state governments to get together quickly.

Transport Minister Volker Wissing announced this week that he thought a follow-up offer was possible from the end of the year or early 2023.

He wants to wait until data on the ticket is available at the beginning of November to help with figuring out what could come next.

But VDV’s Wolff said this would be too late. He referenced the huge demand for the ticket – more than 31 million tickets were sold in June alone, as well as rising inflation putting pressure on people. 

In the long-term the transport the Association of German Transport Companies has called on the government to introduce a permanent €69 ticket as a follow-up to the €9 ticket.

Wolff suggested that this ticket could be reduced “to €29 or €39 for people who need it for socio-political reasons – for example, for the duration of the war”.

The Transport Ministry reacted cautiously, saying there is a fixed procedure for consultations on the future – and the financing – of local transport.

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TRAVEL NEWS

‘Trains of the future’: German rail operator plans huge modernisation

Germany's national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, is launching a modernisation offensive and plans to invest more than €19 billion in new trains over the next few years.

'Trains of the future': German rail operator plans huge modernisation

On Wednesday, Deutsche Bahn announced plans for its largest modernisation programme to date.

The record sum of €19 billion will help create the capacity needed to meet increased demand, as well as more modern vehicles which will help make the network more climate-friendly and reliable. 

“We are now investing in the trains of the future,” CEO Richard Lutz told the Innotrans rail technology trade show in Berlin on Wednesday.

At the trade show, Deutsche Bahn also showed what the regional train of the future may look like and presented a new double-decker wagon. It included special office cabins and family areas, which will go into service in Bavaria from spring 2023.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: The best night trains running through Germany

To enable more people to switch from cars to trains, the company says that around extra 450 highspeed ICE trains will run through Germany in 2030 and, next year, three new ICE trains will hit the tracks every month.

Over the next few years, Deutsche Bahn will be buying trains for long-distance services at a cost of around €10 billion – most of which will be spent on the ICE 4, while around €2.5 billion have been earmarked for 73 ICE 3 Neo trains, the first of which will go into service in December.

The end of Covid restrictions and the introduction of the €9 ticket at the beginning of June has recently given a huge boost to passenger numbers on buses and trains in Germany.

READ ALSO: What we know so far about the successor to Germany’s €9 ticket

According to the Federal Statistics Office, almost 4.8 billion passengers used regular train services in the first half of 2022 alone – over 36 percent more than in the first six months of the previous year.

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