29, 69 or 365 euro? what may come

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FROM: Olivier Schmitz

Despite its popularity, the ticket for 9 euros will not be extended. What can happen after a EUR 9 ticket? What follow-up tickets are conceivable?

Cologne – With a € 9 ticket, local public transport in Germany has never been easier or cheaper. While the nationwide single tariff system is set to remain the same, future prices are still under discussion. The discussion revolves around a few options, some of which are very different, that may emerge after the € 9 nationwide ticket expires in September. They all have one thing in common: they would be cheaper than the current tariffs.

Successor to the 9-Euro ticket: These options are discussed

The EUR 9 ticket, introduced in June, is intended for exactly three months: June, July and August. This means that the special offer of public transport will be different again from September. From now on, the old tariffs and zones will apply again – actually. As several follow-up proposals are currently under discussion:

  • Ticket extension 9 euros: Despite repeated refusals from leading FDP politicians such as Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing, a possible extension of the current special offer is not yet completely out of the question. Due to high gas prices, the Left Party called for an extension of the ticket for EUR 9 until the end of the year. The Green Youth is even campaigning for a permanent ticket for 9 euros. The costs would be just over a billion euros a month, or twelve billion a year.
  • Ticket 29 euros: Consumer Advice Centers have offered an easy-to-book ticket for local buses and trains for a monthly price of EUR 29, or around EUR 1 per day. “This would take the burden off everyone in the price crisis, but especially low-money households, and would also give impetus to the necessary shift of movement,” the statement reads.
  • ticket 69 euro: The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) offers a nationwide “climate ticket” for public transport for 69 euros per month as a permanent offer. In line with this, this can be done from September 1. However, unlike the 9 euro ticket, it would not automatically apply to subscribers. The state would have to subsidize this model with around two billion euros a year.
  • 365 euro ticket: Perhaps the most discussed option, even before the 9 euro ticket, is the 365 euro annual subscription. Ticket for 1 euro a day. This is already the case in Austria, for example. Environmental organization Greenpeace warned that Wissing should not jeopardize the success of the € 9 ticket with a break. So there should be a seamless continuation until the end of the year, and then from 2023 a “climate ticket” for a maximum of € 1 per day. The prime minister of Bavaria, Markus Söder, also supported such an option. The 365 euro ticket is now available for trainees in several German cities and regions such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

So there are many options for what should come after the € 9 ticket, but the trend is not yet predictable. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing has not yet decided on another solution. “We need a model that fits the budgets of the federal states as well as the budget of the federal government.”

In principle, however, neighboring Austria can be a great role model. Not only the first 365 euro ticket ever introduced in Vienna in 2012, but also a nationwide ‘climate ticket’ at the end of 2021. Thanks to this, you can use all means of public transport in the country all year round for the price of 1095 euros (three euros a day). It is also based on a three-stage model. You can also buy a climate ticket for only one region. Then it only costs 365 euros a year.

0 euro ticket instead of 9 euro ticket: free public transport is also discussed

A ticket for 9 euros should bring you relief in the short term, but it can trigger the model of a fixed subscription throughout Germany. (editing by IDZRW) © Monika Skolimowska / dpa & Michele Danze / dpa

Another thing that comes up time and time again is completely free public transport. In the case of a EUR 9 ticket, it is also referred to as a “EUR 0 ticket”. Again Business insider reported against their own sources, it is said that this has been discussed recently in politics. Hence, cities such as Berlin would consider this option. In fact, free public transport already exists in Germany: the city of Monheim on the Rhine in the Mettman County has been offering it since 2020. Meanwhile, along with Luxembourg, there is also a whole country that has also been offering free public transport for two years.

In Germany, however, this is so far a utopia. According to the vice-chairman of the SPD faction, Detlef Müller, it is clear that public transport at virtually zero tariffs cannot be financed: “Price incentives must not come at the expense of the functioning and development of public transport.” In this context, Wissing added: “It is not that the lowest price always brings the greatest satisfaction. If the performance behind it isn’t right, there’s no point in driving for one euro, but the beats aren’t right. ”

Ticket 9 euro: Successor not from September – it’s probably a “state thing”

However, with the hassle-free offer of continuing the € 9 ticket, it should be difficult one way or the other. As the federal government has agreed with the states that the results of the joint working group on the overall future and financing of public transport should not be available until early November. They should help in the assessment, therefore no decision will be made on a successor in advance. According to Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing, the connection would be possible in late 2022 or early 2023.

Although the € 9 ticket was initiated by the federal government, Volker Wissing does not consider the federal government responsible for the next offer. “I can’t even design a ticket, the federal states have to do it,” said an FDP politician in ARD morning magazine. When he offered a ticket, countries criticized him indignantly. “And now everyone is very enthusiastic and wants to have it permanently. Now we have to see how the federal states want to finance it. ” Wissing has previously emphasized several times that the design of local public transport belongs to the Länder.

Successor to the 9-euro ticket in NRW: The SPD wants a 365-euro ticket, the state government is unclear

As a result, the attitude of regional policy takes on much more importance again. In North Rhine-Westphalia, during the state elections in 2022, the SPD in particular led a massive campaign for a 365-euro ticket. The head of the country, Thomas Kutschaty, confirmed this demand in the current debate on the successor of the 9-euro ticket. “The new ticket must go beyond lifting the nonsensical tariff jungle. Yes, there is no question of price unification, said the opposition leader in the North Rhine-Westphalia parliament on Monday (18 July). His credo: one euro a day, as a monthly or annual ticket.

But what about the black and green state government? Because that will probably ultimately decide NRW. The responsible Minister for Environment and Transport, Oliver Krischer, interviewed WDR for a further € 9 ticket offer but left open as it should be. According to him, the state government is already thinking about it and is also in talks with other states and the federal government. “I hope we can do something quickly,” said the green politician.

In the coalition agreement, the CDU and the Greens spoke very vaguely in favor of “cheap public transport for everyone”. The alliance would like to test discount ticket offers for students, interns, volunteers, commuters and seniors as electronic tickets. (os mit dpa) Honest and independent information about what is happening in Germany and NRW – subscribe to our free 24RHEIN newsletter here.

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