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Demand for Germany's €49 transport ticket crashes Deutsche Bahn website

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The Local ([email protected])
Demand for Germany's €49 transport ticket crashes Deutsche Bahn website
A ticket machine at a Deutsche Bahn station. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Martin Schutt

Demand for the new €49 nationwide ticket for public transport in Germany is overwhelming providers like Deutsche Bahn, who are seeing millions of sudden subscribers.

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The growing pains for Germany’s popular nationwide public transport ticket continue, with Deutsche Bahn and many local and regional transport authorities recording a last minute deluge of subscription requests.

With the ticket now valid as of Monday, Deutsche Bahn’s website has been unable to keep up with new subscription requests, telling would-be subscribers on both the website and the app to come back and try again later.

The ticket allows the subscriber to use all local and regional public transport anywhere in the country, including buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and regional trains – but excluding long distance trains.

Would-be subscribers can buy it directly from Germany’s state-owned railway Deutsche Bahn or from their local or regional transport providers or online through either the website or app, or from a service centre.

READ ALSO: Germany hopes to help climate with €49 travel ticket

The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) projects that about three million people in Germany bought the ticket for May, with 750,000 of those being people who didn’t have a public transport subscription before.

The ticket requires a subscription and is generally digital, and riders can present it during checks on their phones or with a special card. Paper tickets with QR codes are being accepted until the end of 2023.

But federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing said that Deutsche Bahn and transport companies clearly lack up to date digital infrastructure, leading to the growing pains.

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Lines for service centres, such as a Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, also piled up over the weekend – filled with last minute purchasers or people needing a problem solved with their subscriptions.

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Adding to the confusion, students, who are entitled to a cheaper version of the ticket in many places, also have to wait until June 1st to get the nationwide ticket at their reduced price. Any student who took out a subscription for May will be charged the full €49.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: Germany’s longest regional train journeys with the €49 ticket

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