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Nation-wide nine-euro ticket for Germany

The Federal Cabinet approved the wording aid submitted by the Federal Minister of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) on April 27 for the parliamentary groups of the SPD (Social democrats), Bündnis90/Die Grünen (Green Party) and FDP (Liberal Democrats) for a draft of a Seventh Act to amend the Regionalisation Act to be introduced from the centre of the German Bundestag. With the amendment, which now enters parliamentary consultations, regionalisation funds are to be increased by a total of 3.7 billion euros in 2022. This is intended to finance both the implementation of the “9 for 90 ticket” and the federal government’s contribution to compensating the public transport companies for the loss of fare revenue due to the pandemic.

The timeline:

  • 27 April 2022: Cabinet decision on formulation aid for the coalition parliamentary groups for a draft of a Seventh Act to amend the Regionalisation Act to be introduced from the midst of the German Bundestag.
  • 19 May 2022: 2nd/3rd reading Bundestag
  • 20 May 2022: Bundesrat (federal council)

The following is the current status of the planned design of the ticket by the federal states and the transport companies.

What exactly does 9 for 90 mean?

From 1 June 2022, a heavily discounted public transport ticket for 9 euros per calendar month will be offered in Germany.

Where is the ticket valid?

The ticket is valid throughout Germany on local and regional buses and trains. DB AG long-distance services are excluded, e.g. ICE, IC, EC as well as Flix trains and buses.

The 9-Euro Ticket is only valid on regional services, not on ICE and IC trains I © DB AG/ Pierre Adonis

Where can passengers buy the ticket?

The transport companies are working on changing the distribution channels. There are currently also plans for a joint online platform through which the ticket can be booked digitally. In addition, the ticket will also be offered via classic distribution channels such as vending machines and counters in the spirit of public service.

What happens to the subscriptions?

Subscription customers benefit in a special way. Their subscription is automatically reduced to 9 euros by the transport company or the difference is made up in the following months. At the same time, all subscription benefits in the respective transport association or transport company remain valid.

The transport companies are also working on the refund for semester tickets, 9 o’clock season tickets, etc. for the period from June to August.

If an existing season ticket includes bicycle transport, this advantage will continue to apply in the respective area of validity. If the bicycle transport is not part of the existing subscription or if it is a new customer, the bicycle transport must be booked regularly.

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to introduce the ticket after the summer holidays?

No. The plan is to relieve the citizens quickly.

Isn’t the nationwide scope of validity likely to cause overcrowding on the trains?

The nationwide scope was introduced by the federal states responsible for public transport in order to ensure that the measure is implemented quickly and in a way that is appropriate for customers. The federal government assumes that the transport services will be organised accordingly.

The 9-euro ticket is also to be available via the classic distribution channels, for example at ticket machines or counters I © DB AG/ Max Lautenschläger

How will the ticket be financed?

The regionalisation funds will be increased in such a way that the federal states will be able to implement the “9 for 90” ticket. The funds are provided through the Regionalisation Act. The sum of the funds for three months in the amount of 2.5 billion euros results from the forecast of the lost ticket revenue of the Länder for 2022.

What about the compensation of the pandemic-related revenue losses by the federal government?

Overall, pandemic-related fare revenue losses of probably around 3.2 billion euros are to be expected in 2022. Here, too, the federal government stands by its commitment to compensate half of the pandemic-related revenue losses. The law provides for 1.2 billion euros as a guideline. Ultimately, however, the Federal Government and the Länder agreed on a so-called “peak settlement”. This means that after accounting and auditing, the actual difference will be made up by 30 June 2024.

How does the federal government support transport companies in the event of war-related energy price increases?

In addition to the “9 for 90” ticket, the federal government’s relief package includes other measures from which transport companies also benefit directly. These include, among others, the temporary reduction of the energy tax on fuel, but also the early elimination of the EEG levy.

What about the long-term increase in regionalisation funds?

At the suggestion of Federal Minister Dr. Wissing, a federal-state working group was set up to work out an expansion and modernisation pact for public transport in order to improve public transport in the long term as well. In this working group under equal leadership of the VMK chair state and the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport, the topics of minimum standards, quality criteria, accessibility, increased attractiveness, digitalisation, networking and tariffs as well as capacity improvements are to be discussed and proposals developed for this purpose. An expansion and modernisation pact is to be drawn up and adopted by the conference of transport ministers in autumn. This will not only give us the chance to put the financing of public transport on a solid footing in the long term, but above all the opportunity to make public transport significantly more comfortable and attractive for all citizens.

Source: Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, Germany

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