zug 9 euro ticket

Germany – good to know:  The success of the 9 euro ticket

It is a well-known fact that Germans love their cars. However, with energy and fuel costs rising and the fight against climate change becoming more and more urgent, public transport is seen as an important alternative by many in Germany. This topic has been put on top of the agenda recently due to an initiative of the Federal Government, which is part of its support package as a response to the rising energy costs this year, the so called „9 euro ticket“.

The German Federal government launched this special-offer ticket, a monthly travel pass, making bus and train travel on local public transport possible for only 9 euros per month – for everyone, everywhere in Germany. The ticket is heavily subsidized by the Federal Government. In comparison, a normal monthly travel pass for use in the Cologne area only can cost more than 300 euros.

The 9 euro ticket has now been available for the summer months of June, July and August 2022. And it has been much more successful than expected, with 38 million 9 EUR tickets sold until mid-August. The latest statistics suggest that the new ticket has boosted rail usage in Germany, particularly in more rural and tourist areas. Crowded trains and platforms all over Germany, especially during weekends, are the consequence, even though the ticket is not valid for long distance trains, such as the ICE service. On the other hand, road usage seems virtually unchanged, suggesting little impact of the new offer on commuters.

With the 9 euro ticket expiring at the end of August, the debate has begun about an extension of the model. The Federal Government has made it clear that a nationwide ticket for only 9 euros per month will not come back, since the cost is too high. Experts say that there is a need for a reliable, long lasting ticket offer in order to impact commuters‘ habits. One suggestion includes a monthly regional ticket (a region being defined as a rather large area, such as, for example, the entire state of Bavaria) for 29 euros and a nationwide monthly travel pass for 49 euros. Others suggest a yearly travel pass for 365 euros, thus 1 euro per day.

It is clear that for a sustainable success of public transport, there must be an easy to understand, affordable tariff for everybody and a good, reliable railroad infrastructure. There is still some work to do in order to achieve both in Germany, but the success of the 9 euro ticket has shown that it is worth trying. Therefore, if you come to Germany next time, watch out for new public transport offers and solutions. Things seem to be on the move…


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