BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Transport Minister Volker Wissing wants to use the sheer size of 9 euro tickets to achieve far-reaching improvements for the ever more attractive Local Public Transport (ÖPNV). “We need to take the opportunity to get more people excited about public transport,” an FDP politician told a German news agency. “We want to attract new passengers.” For this purpose, the offer should be more understandable, more uniform, and therefore more customer-friendly. Wissing also advocated practical local transport applications and simpler tariffs.
In addition, minor organizational structures will have to be broken down, explained the minister. The real added value for customers is also the uniform tariffs and offers in all transport associations. “People don’t live in tariff zones. People want to get from A to B. All the technical stuff that plays a role in the background needs to be invisible to users. It helps us digitizationand we need to use them more. We should think of public transport more outside our own zone and outside our own special purpose association ”.
Wissing described the € 9 ticket, which was introduced earlier this month, as a “field test”. It is an opportunity to check to what extent the price is an obstacle in entering public transport, or whether more attractive offers are important. “In this way, we can gain important insight into exactly this question and tailor our public transport offer accordingly.” And the greater use of public transport will help achieve the climate protection goals in the transport sector.
9 Euro tickets are valid in June, July and August and allow unlimited travel on local and regional buses and trains throughout Germany for one month – much cheaper than regular monthly tickets, which are also only valid within the network area. “Together with the federal states and shipping companies, we made what some states seemed impossible a few weeks ago – namely, we launched this ticket in a very short time,” said Wissing. “By doing this, we essentially launched something to improve public transport.”
Consumer ombudsmen have already warned of an impending price increase after the end of the campaign. Wissing said in this context: “If we manage to increase the use of local transport with a ticket and customers stay with it, then transport associations and companies will have more income per month and the financial situation will also improve.” If you also manage to attract a lot of people who are now trying out the offer as regular customers, it will also have a positive effect on income in the future. “Incidentally, the Länder receive revenue losses from the 9 euro ticket financed by the federal government.”
The planned evaluation of the special action will also provide information on regions where the ticket is not used, the minister explained. “And then you’ll have to ask if the offer isn’t user-friendly enough.”
The Länder constantly demand more funds from the federal government for regionalization with which they or transport associations can order local transport services from suppliers. However, Wissing initially insists on reform. “Analyzing the 9 euro ticket will give us clear clues as to where we need to go,” he said. The federal states want to present the results of the working group proposed by Wissing by autumn, and then talk about regionalization funds for the 2023 budget.
– This gives us the possibility of a long-term basis for financing public transport and making public transport much more convenient and attractive for everyone – said the minister. The system needs to become more efficient and more powerful. “We have to think about public transport based on customer needs, not our local transport structures.” These included user-friendly public transport applications where associations and companies would have to share customer data with each other.
As minister of state in Rhineland-Palatinate, he merged the individual special purpose associations into larger units. “The resistance was huge at first, but as a result, we managed to achieve a lot of improvements in public transport. It is about adapting structures to the realities of people’s lives and updating them. Many small groups that coordinate with each other the tariff compliance does not go as fast as a large association. ‘
Mobility needs vary. “Your expectations of public transport also depend, for example, on whether you live in a large metropolitan area or in the countryside.” Here, too, it is necessary to create the possibility of integrating new innovative offers with the existing local transport system. One possibility is on-demand offers. In the meantime, there are even pilot projects in which carsharing vehicles arrive at the customer via a remote control./hoe/DP/mis