Start date for Germany's €49 ticket unclear as officials row over details

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Start date for Germany's €49 ticket unclear as officials row over details
People wait for an U-Bahn train in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

Germany's Transport Ministry has admitted that it still has numerous hurdles to clear before the long-awaited €49 monthly public transport ticket can go on sale.


Responding to a question from the opposition CDU party, the ministry revealed that numerous questions still remained unanswered, including the legal aspects, fare regulations, conditions of carriage and technical implementation of the €49 ticket.

In a written response that was obtained by the Rheinische Post, the Transport Ministry said federal and state governments would work closely with representatives of the municipalities and transport companies "to create the conditions for the most attractive service possible".

However, it added, there are still "a number of open points" that still haven't been agreed upon. 

The roll-out of the monthly travel offer was initially pushed back after financing rows between the central and state governments took weeks to resolve. Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FPD) originally said the ticket could go on sale in January.


However, since the funding of the ticket was clarified at the end of the last year, local authorities and transport companies have been working on its implementation.

According to the ministry, the legislative process that will pave the way for the €49 ticket will begin 'at the start of 2023'. 

But with the government so far making little progress with the roll-out, there are doubts that ministers can achieve their goal of releasing the ticket in spring. 

READ ALSO: When is Germany’s €49 ticket coming - and how long will it last?

'Setback for public transport'

As potential delays threaten to overshadow an otherwise popular policy, the conservatives were quick to criticise the continued uncertainty around the ticket.

Speaking to the Rheinische Post on Thursday, Thomas Bareiß, the CDU/CSU's transport policy spokesman pointed out that the €49 ticket that the deadline had been pushed back twice already.

It was originally meant to arrive in January, but this was then postponed to April, and then most recently, the Transport Minister claimed it would start in May, he said.  

"However, nothing has happened," Bareiß added. "This is a major setback for public transport and the transport companies, who need to be able to plan ahead."

The parliamentary group's transport expert, Michael Donth (CDU), added: "For months, we have been told that open points with the states would be clarified - but apart from the long-term uncertain financing, nothing has been decided."

€9 ticket successor

Also branded the 'Deutschlandticket', the €49 ticket is a new transport offer that will enable customers to travel all over Germany on local and regional transport for a fixed monthly price. 

It was intended to replace the hugely popular €9 ticket that was on sale for three months last summer and, despite the higher price, is likely to offer many of the same travel conditions for passengers.

Following a lengthy standoff at the end of the last year, state and federal governments agreed to each put €1.5 billion into financing the ticket and split any additional costs on an equal basis.

However, it remains unclear how the ticket will be financed after the first year - and when exactly it will go on sale. 

READ ALSO: 'Deutschlandticket': What you need to know about Germany's new €49 travel ticket




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