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Berlin pushes for €29 regional public transport ticket

Germany plans to introduce a nationwide follow-up to the €9 transport offer in future. But the city-state of Berlin wants to see a system that allows for cheaper regional tickets, too.

People wait for a regional train in Berlin.
People wait for a regional train in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey, of the Social Democrats, is pushing for a “two-tier ticket system” in Germany as a follow-up to the €9 per month summer ticket offer. 

“For a good follow-up solution to the €9 ticket, there should be a two-tier ticket system,” said the SPD politician in a tweet.

“€29 for a regional offer in the respective federal state, and €49 for a nationwide ticket. Our goal remains: bus and train in Berlin for around €1 per day.”

Giffey went on to say that the capital’s government was “working on a good bridging solution in Berlin from October to December 2022 until the nationwide ticket arrives”.

The €9 per month ticket, which was in place from June to the end of August, allowed people in Germany to travel on all public transport networks at a heavily reduced price.

As The Local has been reporting, there are plans to bring in a follow-up ticket from the start of 2023 as part of a new €65 billion package aimed at supporting people with rising energy costs. It is likely to cost somewhere between €49 and €69 per month. 

READ ALSO: What we know so far about Germany’s €9 ticket follow-up 

Berlin’s transport senator Bettina Jarasch also urged for a two-tier approach to the €9 ticket successor.

She pointed out that, if the price point is at the higher end of the scale, people who have a so-called ‘Abo’ – subscription – in the Berlin area won’t see the benefit. 

“A €69 ticket would bring little (benefit) for Berlin because many subscriptions are already cheaper here,” said the Green politician.

“I think a tiered system is good, as the Greens had already suggested in the federal government: i.e., a regional ticket for €29 in the VBB (Berlin and Brandenburg) area – and additionally a nationwide €69 ticket.”

At the end of August, the SPD in Berlin, along with coalition partners the Greens and the Left party decided that they wanted to introduce a regional public transport offer to provide some relief to residents in the energy crisis. 

READ ALSO: Berlin considers extending €9 offer 

But not everyone is on board with the idea. 

Felix Reifschneider, transport policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group in Berlin’s House of Representatives, said a two-tier system was “nonsensical.”

Relief should be provided for residents who are “particularly affected by inflation”, he said. He spoke out in favour of reducing the price of the current social ticket – for people on benefits – which currently costs €27.50.

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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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