Despite its popularity, the ticket for 9 euros will not be extended. What can happen from September? 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.
9 euro ticket: successor from September? These options are discussed
The EUR 9 ticket introduced in June is intended for exactly three months: June, July and August 2022. This means that the special offer of public transport will again be different from September. From now on, the old tariffs and zones will apply again – actually. As a few more suggestions for the successor of the 9 euro ticket are currently being discussed:
- 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 centers compared to dpa Easy-to-book ticket for buses and trains in local transport for a monthly price of 29 euros, i.e. for about 1 euros 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 29 and 49 euros: The Greens come up with a new proposal to replace the 9 euro ticket. This gives you two different tickets: a regional ticket for EUR 29 a month and a nationwide ticket for EUR 49 a month. Eight new regions were proposed, covering at least one federal state. Public transport tickets are to be paid by abolishing the flat-rate taxation of company cars. However, the co-ruling FDP party is clearly against it. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) also stated that there would be no further funding for such tickets in the budget. If there is still agreement, the introduction of tickets will be possible from October.
- 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, but that would be feasible from September.
- 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, for example in Austria. 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 plenty of options for what should come after the € 9 ticket, but the clear trend is not yet predictable. Federal and state governments are still vying for a possible next cheap ticket deal. Financing is a serious problem. Bavaria says the federal government itself is bearing the cost of further local and regional transport offerings. Other countries have indicated their willingness to co-finance. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) sees no possibility of additional federal funding.
Lindner said in Augsburg General, in financial planning there are no funds for the continuation of the 9 euro ticket. According to an FDP politician, each euro would have to be mobilized elsewhere through cuts. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is meanwhile open to the successor of the 9 euro ticket. According to his ministry, the decisive factor, however, is the readiness of the federal states to contribute financially. It is not known which successor would have preferred.
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.
Ticket for 0 euro instead of ticket for 9 euro: Also free public transport as a successor discussed
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 evaluation, therefore no decision on a successor will be made 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 you have to see how the states want to finance it. ” Wissing has previously emphasized several times that local public transport design is a state affair.
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 he opted for another ticket offer for 9 euros but left open the question of what exactly this should look like. 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. Krischer later explained that West German general newspaper“We are ready to talk about a short term extension and a permanent successor.”
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 the discounted 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.
The text of this text was updated on August 8. Innovations: new green proposals have been added and the content has been updated.