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Berlin considers extending €9 public transport offer

Germany's popular €9 monthly transport ticket will expire at the end of August. But Berliners could benefit from the offer until the end of the year, according to a proposal from a party in the city-state government.

A customer at Berlin's main station holds the €9 monthly ticket for June and July.
A customer at Berlin's main station holds the €9 monthly ticket for June and July. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Berlin’s Social Democrats (SPD) want to extend the €9 ticket for a limited period, according to media reports. 

The party, which leads the coalition government in the city-state, has proposed to extend the €9 ticket regionally until the end of the year. 

However, people with the ticket would only be able to use it in the AB fare zone – that is, in Berlin, not Brandenburg. And it would not be valid nationwide unlike the current €9 offer.

The story first surfaced in media reports on Friday morning. SPD sources then confirmed the proposals to German news agency DPA. 

READ ALSO: 5 things to know about public transport in Germany after the €9 ticket

The SPD in Berlin, along with coalition partners the Greens and the Left party were set to meet to discuss how they can support residents with the spiralling costs of energy.

The proposal for a new regional €9 ticket is one of the options on the table. The costs are currently estimated to be around €300 to €400 million.

Successor to €9 ticket debated

It comes as the nationwide cheap transport offer is set to expire at the end of this month. For the months of June, July and August, people have been able to travel on all public transport networks across Germany – whether it’s the bus, regional train, tram or U-Bahn – for just €9 per month.

There have been various discussions about bringing in a follow-up ticket. Possible successor solutions were debated at a special digital conference of state transport ministers on Friday.

The states called for more money from the federal government for public transport, and for the government to present a proposal “in a timely manner” detailing a follow-up to the €9 ticket. 

“The high demand for the €9 ticket has clearly shown that public transport is used, but also that the quality still needs to be significantly expanded,” said the chairwoman of the Conference of Transport Ministers, Bremen’s transport senator Maike Schaefer.

“The federal government has a responsibility here.”

But federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing said he was disappointed with the outcome of the meeting.

“Citizens expect politics to present solutions and not shift responsibilities,” he said. 

Wissing has previously said that he wants to look into studies evaluating the overall effect of the €9 ticket before thinking about a possible follow-up offer. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

EXPLAINED: How will Berlin’s new €29 transport ticket work?

Germany’s capital launched its follow-up to the €9 ticket on Tuesday, but the ticket will only be valid for those with subscriptions. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How will Berlin’s new €29 transport ticket work?

Tickets for the new €29 Berlin city ticket went on sale on Tuesday and eager passengers will be wondering how they can get their hands on the discount offer. However, unlike the nationwide €9 ticket, Berlin’s travel deal will only be valid in the AB fare zone of Berlin and for customers with a yearly subscription.

Why has Berlin brought in the ticket?

The Berlin state government and transport companies in Berlin developed the ticket to set an example for climate protection and make public transportation more attractive for Berliners. The state of Berlin is financing the offer which will bridge the gap between the end of the €9 ticket offer and a nationwide successor which should arrive in January.

READ ALSO: Berlin gets green light to launch €29 transport ticket

Where and when will the ticket be valid?

The €29 ticket will be valid on all buses, trams, U-bahns and S-bahns within the AB fare zone in the city of Berlin. Those wanting to travel into the C zone will need to buy an extension ticket.

Who is the ticket for?

Some people might be disappointed to find out that the ticket will only be available as part of a yearly subscription. All other tickets will retain their usual prices.

That means that people won’t be able to buy a monthly ticket for €29 unless it’s part of a yearly package, so certain groups of people, such as tourists, may not benefit from the offer.

From October 1st to December 31st, 2022, the monthly price for the following subscriptions in the Berlin AB fare zone will be reduced to €29:

–   VBB-Umweltkarten subscriptions with monthly and annual payments

–   10 o’clock ticket subscriptions with monthly and annual payments

–   VBB company tickets with monthly and yearly payments

–   Education monthly subscription ticket with monthly payments

The offer will not apply to ABC semester tickets. 

How will payment for the ticket work?

According to information from BVG, subscribers who pay monthly will automatically be charged the lower amount, while compensation for those who pay annually is expected to arrive at the end of the promotional period.

Can I get a yearly subscription starting from October and still benefit?

Yes. If you sign up for a yearly subscription on the BVG or VBB website, starting from October, you will be charged the lower price for the first three months of the subscription. If you start in November or December, you will pay the lower price for just those months. 

What happens once the promotion is over?

For those who don’t cancel their subscription by December 31st, their subscription contract will run for a total of 12 months. However, passengers can also switch to another VBB fare product, to another fare zone or to the successor product to the €9 ticket, which is expected to be valid throughout Germany from January 1st.

READ ALSO: Germany to set out plans for €49 transport ticket in October

When can the subscription be cancelled?

It seems that people will be able to cancel their yearly subscriptions. The BVG website says: “If we were not able to convince you of our performance and you decide not to continue the subscription beyond the promotional period, you can cancel your subscription at any time at the end of the month without any disadvantages.”

Vocabulary

Subscription – (das) Abonnement

Extension ticket – (der) Anschlussfahrausweis

Yearly – jährlich

Monthly – monatlich

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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