The last political hurdle for the nine-euro monthly tickets for buses and trains in summer has been cleared: On Friday, the Bundesrat approved the financing law passed by the Bundestag for the special campaign, which is to start on June 1st for three months. This means that nationwide ticket sales at Deutsche Bahn and other providers can begin this Monday, as announced. In some places it is already running.
According to the law passed by the Bundestag the evening before, the federal government is to provide, among other things, 2.5 billion euros to compensate for loss of income. There had been several calls from the federal states for more money in general for local public transport (ÖPNV).
In June, July and August, the special tickets are intended to enable travel in local and regional transport throughout Germany – for nine euros a month each, which is much cheaper than normal monthly tickets. In addition to providing relief because of the high energy prices, it should also be a trial campaign to attract more passengers and encourage them to switch from their cars.
The nine-euro ticket is therefore a “huge opportunity” for climate-friendly mobility, explained Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) at the final plenary debate on Thursday evening. From his point of view, the project is already a success: “The whole of Germany is talking about local public transport.”
Green parliamentary group leader Katharina Dröge told the German Press Agency: “For the people who are in need of relief right now in view of the high costs, it is important that the nine-euro ticket comes into force on June 1st.” She would be happy if the Federal Council clears the way for a quick start. “We hope that as many people as possible will take up this offer.”
Providers in the starting blocks: Weeks ago, bus and train operators and associations began adding the new offer to ticket machines, websites and apps. “All companies have signaled to us that they are technically ready and that we can start,” said the Berlin-Brandenburg transport association. The majority of providers – including Deutsche Bahn – want to activate sales on Monday. Some start on Saturday. Some providers have already sold the first thousand tickets, and sales in Hamburg are scheduled to begin on Friday.
The general course: The ticket should also relieve millions of people who do not drive from the price increases resulting from the Ukraine war. That is basically a good approach, said the traffic expert of the Federal Government for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), Jens Hilgenberg, of the dpa.
It is more important, however, that the federal government makes significantly more money available for better offers in the area in the long term. “Thanks to the nine-euro ticket, there is no additional bus in rural areas for the time being.” But it is precisely there that alternatives to one’s own car must be significantly strengthened, said Hilgenberg.
Cost brakes for motorists too: At the same time, the coalition is also planning for June to August to reduce fuel costs by reducing energy tax to the minimum specified under EU law. The tax rate for petrol is to be reduced by almost 30 cents and for diesel by 14 cents.