Coach company FlixBus insists on inclusion in Germany’s planned 49-euro public transport ticket
Clean Energy Wire / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Long-distance bus service provider FlixBus insists on being included in Germany’s planned monthly 49-euro ticket for nationwide public transport. The company already said in September it was “ready” for taking part in any follow-up to the popular 9-euro ticket German public transport users could buy during the summer months, for which the new ticket has been proposed as a suitable model by Germany’s federal states. “The 49-euro ticket rightfully aims to make mobility affordable for the maximum number of people,” FlixBus CEO Andre Schwämmlein told newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Including the long-distance bus service in the ticket would make the mass transport option more attractive for millions of additional users, Schwämmlein argued. He added FlixBus could close a gap between long and short-to-medium-distance transports, as the proposed ticket currently only covers use of the latter category. “Long-distance buses already are the most environmentally friendly means of transportation and would add a lot of value to the new offer especially for people in rural areas – for a fraction of the total costs,” the CEO said. He added his company is currently in talks with the states and the federal government on whether FlixBus could come under the umbrella of the new public transport flat rate.
Transport ministers of Germany’s states met with federal minister Volker Wissing last week to carve out the details of the 49-euro ticket scheme, for which the inclusion of long-distance buses is just one of many question marks. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports the government wants to grant the ticket in a long-term subscription only, an idea that has been challenged because it could ultimately scare off potential buyers. The 9-euro ticket that was valid between June and August had been introduced as a measure to ease cost pressure on citizens amid the energy crisis and had been met with high demand, prompting a debate about the future costs for public transport users in the country.