– At the start of the 9 euro ticket, there was initially limited rush on buses and trains. But the real test of public transport is yet to come. Is chaos approaching?
With the € 9 ticket introduced, local public transport is in for its first test this Whit Sunday weekend.
Nobody knows how much rush the buses and regional trains will actually be. But it would be full even without special tickets. What can travelers expect at Pentecost? Overview.
As early as next Wednesday, ticket holders for EUR 9 can use it to travel around Germany by public transport. The ticket can be purchased for the months of June, July and August and is valid from the beginning of the month to the end of the month. The ticket is still available online and at all ticket offices and machines.
How many extra passengers will board the buses and trains on Pentecost with a € 9 ticket is still fully open. “The trains are already full on the day of Pentecost,” a Deutsche Bahn spokesman said Wednesday. In addition, the number of passengers on the railways has increased significantly recently, even without special tickets. On Easter, the group counted even more travelers on the trains than Easter 2019 – before the crisis. So it should definitely be full, especially on hiking trails.
Many transport companies have already announced that it will not be possible to take bikes everywhere. In Schleswig-Holstein, for example, the transport association Nah.SH is expecting fuller trains on the Marschbahn from Hamburg to Sylt over the Pentecost weekend. Oversized travelers are also projected to travel to other popular destinations along the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts. It is recommended to travel outside of rush hour or to less frequented areas.
The subsidiary DB Regio Bayern also warned of an “additional increase in capacity utilization” on regional trains to tourist destinations such as Kochel am See, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberstdorf and Lindau on Lake Constance. On fast trains such as Munich to Nuremberg or from Würzburg to Bamberg, it can also get full with a ticket of 9 euros.
Not only does it get crowded on the trains, but also on the tracks. Many construction sites slow down traffic on the day of Pentecost. At Deutsche Bahn, construction activities over the long weekend are concentrated mainly in the north, west and south-west. Construction is also underway on the routes between Hamburg and Hanover, as well as Frankfurt and Mannheim, Dortmund and Düsseldorf, and in the center of Rheinthal. Construction works led, inter alia, to extend the travel time, failure of trains and stops or additional changes.
In addition, there are construction measures of the individual associations. According to the responsible transport association VBB, this Whit Sunday weekend in Berlin and Brandenburg alone, construction restrictions apply to more than half a dozen regional rail and express lines. For more information, see the website of the transport association in each region.
Transport companies expand their possibilities as much as possible. “Everything that can roll will run with us,” a railroad spokesman said Wednesday. The group announced, inter alia, running 50 additional trains throughout the validity period of the ticket, which would allow 250 additional journeys per day. The trains are to run mainly on routes where there is a great tourist demand.
Deutsche Bahn also announced that travelers can also use a € 9 ticket for intercity journeys from Stuttgart to Singen in the Lake Constance region. The so-called Murgtäler Freizeitexpress, which runs from the Rhine-Neckar region to the Black Forest, will run not only on Sundays and public holidays, but also on Saturdays.
Other associations and transport companies are taking similar steps. Additional vehicles are to be used in both Berlin and Munich, for example on subway and commuter trains. We’ll see if all of this is enough. Opportunities are limited in terms of both infrastructure and vehicles.