Will Germany’s planned €49 ticket be delayed again?

The Local (news@thelocal.com)
The Local ([email protected]) • 23 Jan, 2023 Updated Mon 23 Jan 2023 11:22 CEST
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A regional train in Hamburg. Under the proposed plans, riders could use all local public transport in Germany, including regional trains, for €49 a month. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Bockwoldt

Germany's state ministers say the planned start date of May 1st is in danger of being pushed back - again.

Already beset by delays, negotiations over Germany’s planned successor to last summer’s popular and successful €9 nationwide public transport ticket are still rife with funding disputes between federal and state governments.

Bremen’s mobility senator Maike Schaefer, of the Greens, warned that the proposed May 1st start date was in danger, adding that getting it back on track would require “a federal minister that isn't blocking the implementation.”

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing originally planned to introduce the ticket at the beginning of January, in an effort to improve public transport use in Germany and help curb inflation. Last summer’s three-month €9 ticket is widely accepted to have done both.

Germany’s federal and state governments finally recently agreed to split the costs 50-50 for 2023 and Wissing set a goal to roll out the ticket for May 1st.

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

So why won't the €49 ticket come by May 1st?

It still could. But although the main dispute over costs seems settled, plenty of smaller disputes are dogging negotiations - including at a meeting between the federal Transport Ministry and federal states on Friday.

To make a May 1st start date, Germany’s governments must resolve their disputes and pass a law through the Bundestag, all in time for tickets to go on sale in April.

Federal states say it’s not clear whether the individual public transport authority rules for children’s tickets would apply to the €49 ticket. States also want to allow older people to carry paper tickets for at least a year, rather than the digital-only tickets the Transport Ministry favours.

The Transport Ministry also doesn’t want to finance employer-discounted tickets - a common measure in many parts of Germany that reduces the subscription price for employees of a particular company. Several states are also not willing to stump up money to market the campaign.

In the meantime, Berlin is continuing with a €29 ticket applicable to zones inside its city limits, while most other parts of the country wait on a €9 ticket successor.

READ ALSO: OPINION: Why Germany’s €49 travel ticket is far better than the previous €9 ticket

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The Local ([email protected]) 2023/01/23 11:22

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