In three weeks’ time, Germany’s cheap summer travel offer will come to an end. While members of the traffic light coalition government have been unable to agree on a continuation of the ticket, the majority of Germans are in favour of keeping the heavily-discounted travel card in place.
According to a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Civey for German news magazine Spiegel, 55 percent would like to see an extension of the ticket, which allows people to use public transportation throughout Germany for €9 per month. Meanwhile, 34 percent of Germans are against extending the offer.
The survey also showed that mainly Green Party supporters are for an extension of the €9 ticket, as more than two-thirds are in favour of continuing the deal. A majority of supporters of the Left Party and the SPD are also in favour of continuing the discount campaign.
Leading Green Party politicians have put forward proposals for a cheap successor to the €9 ticket: a regional ticket for €29 and a nationwide ticket for €49 a month.
Meanwhile, FDP Finance Minister Christian Lindner has heavily criticised demands for extending the cheap transport deal. On Monday he tweeted that a “freebie mentality is not sustainably financeable, not efficient and not fair”. He also told the Augsburger Allgemeine that there is no scope for an extension in the federal budget.
Eine #Gratismentalität ist nicht nachhaltig finanzierbar, nicht effizient und nicht fair. Und offenbar auch unökologisch, wie erste Stimmen zur Bewertung des 9-Euro-Tickets nun ausführen. CLhttps://t.co/XI7B1VCyPY
— Christian Lindner (@c_lindner) August 8, 2022
The Spiegel poll backs up the results of a questionnaire conducted by The Local, which showed that 85.4 percent of readers want the €9 ticket to continue after August. Meanwhile, 47.2 percent of readers said that reduced cost was the most important issue for them in relation to public transport in Germany.
Reader Asa from Hamburg, 26, told the Local “I’d love to see a successor to the €9 ticket supported. It’s given me the chance to explore the surrounding towns in a way that would otherwise be financially unviable.”
Bethany, a reader from Kaiserslautern, said she had replaced at least six long-distance car journeys with public transport in June and July.
“Before, the cost of taking a train wasn’t worth it. But now? I’ll put up with delayed trains for €9,” she said.