Berlin (dpa) – “Please try again later”: Anyone wishing to buy a ticket on the Deutsche Bahn website today should see this notification more often.
Like many transport associations, the group started selling a € 9 monthly ticket on Monday morning. The demand was so great that the site was constantly overloaded. Nevertheless, around 200,000 new special tickets were sold on digital platforms by midday, says Jörg Sandvoß, head of the DB Regio subsidiary.
Several thousand tickets already sold
Sales also took off well in other companies. Many of them started a few days earlier. For example, the Munich-based shipping company reported that from Sunday to Monday noon, 15,500 of these nationwide tickets had only been sold as paper tickets.
Tickets are available from Friday at the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. The spokesman said that until Sunday inclusive, 130,000 were sold here, of which about 60% via the Internet. The Bavarian Regiobahn is also “quite satisfied with the first figures,” said marketing manager Sabine Floßmann. “We are now approaching the four-digit range.”
The transport associations of Saxony, Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia also reported strong demand. According to the “Westdeutsche Zeitung”, in Wuppertal, customers who wanted to buy a paper ticket even lined up on Monday morning.
With tickets, passengers can travel around Germany by local public transport in June, July and August – for EUR 9 per month. Thanks to the offer, the federal government wants to relieve citizens in the face of inflation, and also to make the transfer to public transport more attractive.
How crowded is it on trains and buses in summer?
The attractiveness of discounted journeys depends mainly on the congestion of trains and buses in the summer. “We don’t have the most vague idea,” says DB boss Regio Sandvoß, given the expected number of passengers. Many experts assume that the ticket will be used primarily for leisure, weekend and holiday travel – with great use on tourist routes.
The railways want to use 50 additional trains there, in particular, and to increase the staff. It was reported that vehicles could receive 250 additional journeys. However, with an average of around 22,000 regional train journeys per day, experts are skeptical as to whether this is enough. “50 extra trains is not much,” says Karl-Peter Naumann of the Pro Bahn passenger association. Especially since numerous construction sites slow down traffic in the summer months.
Companies want to increase efficiency
Many other shipping companies have also announced they will pick up whenever possible. “The authorities are currently investigating the use of additional vehicles where they are needed,” reports the Rhein-Ruhr transport association. In Berlin and Brandenburg, the responsible transport association still sees individual capacity, also because the use of traffic from before the corona crisis has not yet been achieved.
Nevertheless, given the bottlenecks, Sandvoß, the railroad manager, is also clear: “In three months we will be worse on time than we were before.” Taking your bikes with you cannot always be guaranteed, “especially since many trips are arranged spontaneously and depending on the weather”.
So it jams not only when selling, but possibly also during work. But at least the overload of business websites should be done quickly. After all, the number of tickets is not limited, and purchases can be made until August inclusive.