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EXPLAINED: How will Germany’s new €49 travel ticket work?

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EXPLAINED: How will Germany’s new €49 travel ticket work?
A U-Bahn train arrives at the Museumsinsel station in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

After months of deliberations, Germany's transport ministers and federal and state governments agreed on a new €49 travel ticket on Thursday. Here’s what we know so far about how it will work.


When will the ticket be available?

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has said that the €49 ticket will be introduced as quickly as possible, and has set a target of January 1st, 2023. 


Where will the €49 ticket be valid?

Like the €9 ticket, the new travel card will be valid on all local and regional trains, U-bahns, trams and buses across the country. That means ticket holders in one state will be able to travel on regional transport in every other state.

As with the €9 ticket, the €49 travel card won't be valid on high-speed and long-distance trains such as IC and ICEs.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Germany’s long-distance train services will change from December 

Where can I buy the ticket?

The ticket will be available in the form of a monthly, digital subscription. It will be automatically renewed at the end of each month unless transport users cancel their subscription, which they will be able to do at any time.

Transport Minister Wissing has so far said that the ticket will not be available in paper form. But, as this may disadvantage some older transport users, this may change.

How long will this offer last?

While the €9 ticket offer only lasted for 3 months, plans for the €49 ticket seem to be open-ended.

The transport ministers' plans initially envisage a subscription model for a period of two years, after which the offer will be re-evaluated.

How much cheaper is the €49 ticket than other travel cards?

Though almost five times more expensive than the €9 ticket, the new nationwide ticket is, on average, significantly lower in cost than the monthly tickets of Germany's regional transport associations.

An ADAC report from 2021 found that, on average, commuters in Germany paid around €80 for a monthly ticket in 2021, and as much as €112 in Hamburg.

The fact that the €49 ticket is also valid nationwide will also save a lot of money for commuters who have to travel regularly between states.

How will the ticket be financed?

While the €9 ticket was financed by the federal government to the tune of around €2.5 billion, the cost of around €3 billion for the €49 model will be shared between the federal and state governments.

READ ALSO: ‘Simple is better’: German states unite over €49 ticket offer

However, the states have said that they are only prepared to co-finance the offer if the federal government provides more money for local public transport on a permanent basis. The transport ministers of the federal states are calling for a further €4 billion for the expansion and maintenance of local public transport.


It's likely that the exact details will be further thrashed out at the next conference of state presidents.

Will there be further discounts for benefits recipients or young people?

There are currently no plans for any reductions to the nationwide €49 ticket for young people or for those receiving benefits. Local discounts at the state level will remain in place. However, children up to the age of six will be able to ride with a ticket holder for free. 


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Anonymous 2022/10/18 08:07
It's not clear from this what will happen to existing season tickets. I'm still waiting for the promised refund on my Hessen annual seniorticket for which I paid €365 to RMV on April 1st. My partner pays for hers monthly. Is the intention to automatically carry this over to a new €49 subscription? That won't appeal to us retirees who certainly like the advantage of local travel but won't be too keen to subsidise others travelling further afield. John K, Frankfurt.

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