The 9-euro ticket also provides relief on the streets in rush-hour traffic. A current analysis by the traffic data specialist TomTom for the German Press Agency shows a decrease in the level of congestion in 23 of the 26 cities examined compared to the time before the introduction.
The data “suggests that this decline is related to the introduction of the €9 ticket,” said TomTom traffic expert Ralf-Peter Schäfer. “Commuters lost less time driving to and from work in June than in May in almost all cities surveyed.”
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Specifically, the experts compared the traffic jam levels in rush hour traffic on weekdays in calendar weeks 20 and 25 in 26 German cities. The periods were chosen to avoid the effects of vacations and public holidays.
The result is clear: “In the first few days after the introduction of the 9-euro ticket, the data from TomTom showed hardly any effects of the measure on car traffic. In the meantime, however, a positive effect on traffic flow can be seen in almost all cities in Germany that were examined,” says Schäfer.
“The decrease in the loss of time varies from city to city,” explained the expert. The improvement in congestion levels was particularly strong in Hamburg and Wiesbaden. There, the congestion level dropped by 14 and 13 points respectively.
This means that on a route that would take 30 minutes without traffic, drivers lost an average of 4.2 minutes less in Hamburg and 3.9 minutes less in Wiesbaden. TomTom only observed slight deterioration in Kiel and Nuremberg. In Karlsruhe, the level of congestion remained unchanged.
According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), around 21 million 9-euro tickets were sold nationwide in the first month of validity. “Together with the approximately ten million subscribers who automatically receive the discounted ticket, the number of 30 million tickets per month previously calculated by the industry has not only been reached, but even slightly exceeded,” said VDV President Ingo Wortmann With. The figures relate exclusively to June.
According to surveys by the VDV, people are said to have signaled a similarly high level of willingness to buy for July. The ticket entitles buyers to travel throughout Germany on local public transport in June, July and August for 9 euros each. Subscribers can use their subscription tickets like a 9-euro ticket and are reimbursed the difference for the three months.
However, it is more difficult to determine how the ticket is actually used than the sales figures. Deutsche Bahn, through whose channels most of the special tickets were sold, speaks of a passenger growth of 10 to 15 percent in its own regional transport in June compared to the level before the Corona crisis.
However, according to the company, it is comparing different periods of time, namely June of this year with the demand at the end of 2019. The comparison is therefore of limited significance.
The fact is: Buses and trains were full, especially on the tourist routes. Because at the same time construction was at a record level, there were repeated cancellations and delays in many places. More often, passengers with bicycles had to stay outside. According to the railway, more than a million bicycles were transported on the company’s own trains.