The 9-euro monthly pass will be available this summer across Germany

Germany to introduce 9-euro month pass for all public transport

Germany to introduce 9-euro month pass for all public transport

The summer ticket will be valid on local and regional trains, buses, as well as on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn

Today the German Parliament is set to vote on the somewhat controversial 9-euro-ticket to help citizens with rising fuel prices. The measure calls for introducing a monthly pass for all public transport, including cross-city trains and buses for just 9 euros.

The pass will be available from 23 May until the end of August and is set to cost the German government 2.5 billion euros. Nevertheless, the policy is welcomed by many citizens and, as government sources describe it, it is a sort of test-run for the future as the country tries to move towards more climate-friendly policies.

What does the 9-euro-ticket do?

The introduction of the ticket seems inspired by an Austrian initiative from last year when they introduced the climate ticket. Although in the case of Austria, the ticket was not at such a reduced price, it did cover transport across the country and was hailed as an improvement towards more sustainable travel options during the summer.

With a single ticket, people will be able to ride all forms of public transport, across Germany, including buses, U-Bahns, S-Bahns, trams, and local and regional trains run by Deutsche Bahn. The exceptions to this are long-distance transportation services, such as ICE, IC and EC trains run by Deutsche Bahn, FlixTrains and FlixBuses.

The ticket will be valid, however, only during the respective calendar month, meaning that if you buy it in mid-July, it will only work until the end of the month. Despite that minor inconvenience, though, the 9-euro-ticket is a steal compared to most similar offers. In Berlin alone, for example, a single ride costs 3 euros.  

The reduced fee will also cover long-term subscriptions and transport operators will reduce the monthly fee to 9 euros for the duration of the measure.

Sustainable mobility or unsustainable price-cutting

The 9-euro-ticket hopes to achieve two things. One - it hopes to drop commute prices for both regular users of public transport and car owners. Two – convince more people to switch to public transport, by exposing them to this way of travelling. This portion is specifically directed at mono-modal people, meaning people who use only personal cars to travel.

In terms of dropping travel prices for consumers, the measure is quite well received by the German public, according to many reports. Monthly travel fees for a family of three would be as low as 27 euros, which is novel, to say the least.

However, the policy itself has seen criticism in the German Senate, especially from individual states. The main criticism levied against the proposal is that it would punch a hole into public transport companies’ budgets, which they will later have to make up for with a price hike.

Another point is that line operators cannot increase capacity on such short notice, to handle a perceived influx of passengers. Critics have also pointed out that the ticket will do little to reduce the use of cars in rural areas, as people there opt out of public transport because there is just very little of it.

According to Tagesschau, a German news programme, Bavaria’s Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter said: “If the federal government believes that it can be applauded on the back of the federal states for a three-month consolation and that others should pay the bill for it, then it has made a huge mistake.”



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