Could Germany's monthly €49 ticket become more expensive?

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Could Germany's monthly €49 ticket become more expensive?
A regional train in Groß Brütz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jens Büttner

The price of Germany's monthly €49 ticket for local and regional transport may be raised as early as next year, according to German media.


According to a report in the Handelsblatt, Germany’s 16 states have already submitted an amendment to the government's draft law for the ticket, which is set to be discussed by the Bundesrat's transportation committee on Wednesday.

"The price will be fixed annually in an agreement between the federal government and the states” is the passage which the states are seeking to write into the law, according to the report.

That means that the ticket could go up in price as early as 2024. The rise would vary, based on the ticket's demand and how much federal and state governments agree to subsidise it.

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


Is €49 a good price or already too high?

Germany's federal and state governments agreed in December to offer a monthly "Deutschlandticket" for €49 starting on May 1st.

Set to be the successor to last summer's popular monthly €9 ticket, the ticket would allow for travel around all of Germany on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and regional transport. 

The all-digital ticket could be purchased through a monthly subscription, which could be cancelled at any time.

Yet several interest groups have said that the €49 monthly pricetag on the new offer is already too costly, for example for students or those receiving social welfare benefits. The main beneficiaries, they argue, would be for those who already have a monthly transport subscription with their local provider, usually priced at over €80.

"It can be assumed that virtually all current season ticket holders will switch to the €49," Gernot Liedtke of the Institute of Land and Sea Transport (ILS), Transport System Planning and Transport Telematics at the Technical University (TU) Berlin, told Science Media Center.


Those who use public transport only occasionally are unlikely to take advantage of the offer called Deutschlandticket. The price is too high "to buy the ticket on spec at the beginning of the month or even to take out a subscription," Liedtke said.

Still many have heralded the upcoming ticket, pointing out it will lead to increased public transport use, better infrastructure and less congested roads without the overcrowding they feel was brought on by the €9 ticket.

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

How will the tickets be financed?

The federal and state governments each say they will contribute €1.5 billion for the ticket offer.

In the coming years, a joint decision will be made on how to finance the ticket through sales and subsidies.

That means that if demand falls and neither the federal nor state governments are prepared to subsidise more than the agreed €1.5 billion, the states intend to compensate for the losses by raising prices, according to the Handelsblatt.


Demand - (die) Nachfrage

Agreement - (die) Vereinbarung

To subsidize - bezuschussen

Successor - (der) Nachfolger

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