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State by state: Who will get a discount on Germany's €49 transport ticket?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
State by state: Who will get a discount on Germany's €49 transport ticket?
Passengers wait for the train in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Arne Dedert

Although the default ticket option will cost €49 for nationwide coverage on local and regional transport, some federal states are planning to offer discounted versions for people in certain groups. Here's what we know so far.

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After months of delays and negotiations between federal and state governments in Germany on the successor to last summer’s popular €9 ticket, sales for the €49 ticket started on Monday ahead of the launch of the scheme on May 1st.

The ticket is available as a subscription through Germany’s various regional public transport associations or their apps. Travellers on higher-speed Deutsche Bahn trains, such as the Inter-City Express, will still have to pay full price as normal.

But some groups, depending on the federal state, may be able to get the same – or similar – benefits for a reduced price. Here’s an overview:

Baden-Württemberg

The southwestern German state recently introduced its youth ticket, which gives people aged 21 or under unlimited travel within the state for just €1 a day. That’s only about two-thirds the cost of the €49 Deutschlandticket. Although BaWü’s youth ticket doesn’t cover the entire country like the €49 ticket does, it may be more advantageous to young people who are mostly travelling within the state. Those in education or volunteer work can also use the ticket until they turn 27.

READ ALSO: Baden-Württemberg launches new budget transport ticket for young people

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Bavaria

Germany’s alpine state is planning to start offering both students and apprentices based in the state a discounted version of the €49 Deutschlandticket from autumn. Bavaria’s version will cost students and apprentices €29 a month instead. Unlike Baden-Württemberg, whose youth ticket is roughly the same price but only covers travel within the state, Bavaria intends to give ticketholders all the benefits of the Deutschlandticket, so nationwide travel – for the discounted price.

The ticket will be a subscriber model, and holders can give one month’s notice if they wish to exit it. Plans are currently being drawn up to allow students to “upgrade” their tickets to the €29 model, if their normal local semester tickets cost less than €29 monthly. They can also keep the cheaper semester ticket if they like.

Berlin and Brandenburg

Having just had a repeat election in February, Berlin’s Social Democrats and Christian Democrats are currently negotiating a coalition deal to form a government in the capital. Plans are afoot in negotiations to continue a €29 monthly ticket within the inner-city area – or the “Berlin AB” zone, which would exclude Brandenburg. If that happens, subscribers would have the option to choose between the €29 Berlin-only ticket and the nationwide €49 ticket. This won’t be clear though until the final coalition agreement is on the table.

Brandenburg isn’t planning any major changes, other than to allow riders to take their dogs on public transport on a €49 ticket at no extra charge.

Students sit in a lecture at Hanover University.

Many federal states are planning to offer discounted tickets to students that will be valid for public transport across Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

Bremen

The city-state is currently discussing whether to bring in a €29 ticket for students and trainees. It’s not clear yet though, whether the ticket would be valid nationwide, as Bavaria’s model is planning – or just in Bremen. The city already has a €25 monthly ticket for those receiving citizen allowance. The Bremen government currently has no draft law to introduce such a ticket, and hasn’t committed definitively to it.

Hamburg

The northern city-state is offering a wide range of discounts on the €49 ticket. Schoolchildren will be able to use public transport nationwide for €19, as the"SchulSpezial" tickets will be upgraded automatically to the Deutschlandticket will on May 1st.

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Apprentices will get a "BonusTicket" which will be valid throughout Germany for €29 a month, thanks to an employer subsidy. Ticket holders will also be able to take one other adult and three children along for the ride on weekends.

Those receiving benefits will also benefit from a city-financed subsidy and be able to pay just €19 a month for the ticket. 

However, students won't initially benefit from any discounts. If they want to convert their semester ticket into a €49 ticket, they can pay the difference from May. They can, at least, decide every month if they want to upgrade their semester ticket. 

Hesse

In addition to rolling out the €49 ticket, Hesse is preparing a reduced ticket for statewide transport for people on benefits. Anyone receiving housing benefit, citizens' allowance, or social assistance will be eligible for a reduced ticket for €31 a month, granting them access to all local and regional transport within Hesse. It would not, as with the €49, be valid nationwide.

Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

The state government in Schwerin has been working on a €365 per year “Seniors Ticket.” Costing less than two-thirds the price of the €49 ticket, it would be available to seniors living in the state but valid nationwide. The project has been hit by delays, however, and the state government has not given an updated estimate as to when the ticket will be rolled out.

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Lower Saxony

The Hanover region is first rolling out a discounted version of the €49 ticket on May 1st. This one will cost €30 a month and be available to holders of a ticket with employer discounts or those on social assistance. But it will be valid nationwide. The state government also plans to introduce a discounted version of the nationwide Deutschlandticket in 2024 for students and trainees. It will be valid around the country, but only cost these groups based in the state €29 a month.

North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate

Germany’s most populous state will allow dogs to be taken onboard public transport using a €49 ticket at no extra charge.

Currently, students won't get a discount but will be able to upgrade their semester tickets to the nationwide Deutschlandticket by paying the difference.

Talks have been underway for several weeks now about discounts for schoolchildren, trainees and social ticket holders. According to NRW Transport Minister Oliver Krischer, the introduction of a cheaper social fare will be examined "in the coming months". 

Discussions on whether to introduce discounted tickets for some groups, including students, are still ongoing in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Saarland

Germany’s smallest state is picking up some of the tab for its young people’s Deutschlandtickets. All schoolchildren, students, trainees, and volunteers will be able to get the Junge-Leute or “young person” ticket – which will give them nationwide travel, just like the €49 ticket, for €30.40 per month.

People with low incomes can also purchase a reduced ticket for €39 with relevant proof.

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Schleswig-Holstein

The northern German state is working on providing a student semester ticket that would be available nationwide but at a discounted price. It also wants to introduce a discounted price for people who do voluntary service. However, neither initiative has seen concrete plans announced.

Thuringia

The state government in Erfurt is currently discussing whether to have a €28 ticket for students and trainees in the state be valid nationwide. It has not, however, made a final decision.

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Comments (1)

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Mark Window 2023/03/15 11:52
Hi, Does anyone know what or if there will be a monthly ticket for bikes in the Lower Saxony region? I travel daily by bike which currently costs €5.30/day. Thanks

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