The travel wave at Pentecost and the 9-euro ticket have led to overcrowded regional trains and delays. “As expected, there were and are regional peaks in passenger numbers, especially to tourist destinations,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn on Monday. He did not name specific routes.
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Travelers had reported partly completely overcrowded trains, especially in the direction of the Baltic and North Seas, and some passengers had to get off again. Bicycles could often not be taken along. “It is still too early for a detailed assessment,” said the railway spokesman. On the whole, operations were stable nationwide.
For Whit Monday, the train again expected a stronger rush due to the first return journeys. She again recommended passengers to get information from the local transport associations or via the DB Navigator shortly before starting their journey.
From the early noon, the Deutsche Bahn increasingly said on Twitter: “Due to the exceptionally high number of passengers, transport and taking bicycles is no longer possible. Please choose another connection.” The regional express between Berlin and Rostock via Stralsund or the RE1 between Magdeburg and Cottbus via Berlin were affected.
With the 9-euro ticket, passengers have been able to use local transport nationwide for a month since last Wednesday. Tickets are sold for June, July and August. This is intended to support commuters because of the sharp rise in energy costs. For climate protection, new users should be persuaded to switch to the train. According to the Association of German Transport Companies, around seven million tickets had been sold by last Tuesday.
The Pro Bahn passenger association sees its criticism confirmed after the first endurance test for the nine-euro ticket on Pentecost weekend. “During peak travel times, demand on the main routes was so high that trains could not depart. And some railway companies – such as Metronom in northern Germany – have excluded bicycle transport because they could not handle the rush,” said Karl-Peter Naumann from the Pro Bahn passenger association on Monday of the German Press Agency.
The chaos was foreseeable and the result of a political offer without having the necessary rail traffic capacities.
“Not everything that is well meant is also well done,” said Naumann. The good thing about the 9-euro ticket is that it has brought local public transport back into the conversation. “But it only works if the capacities are available,” emphasized Naumann.
Pentecost was the first endurance test for the discount campaign. The ticket entitles you to use local public transport throughout Germany for one month. The ticket is available for June, July and August. It is intended to support commuters, for example, and also help to persuade new users to permanently switch to the train.