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.