End of German 9-euro public transport ticket to be followed by even higher fares - survey
dpa / Der Spiegel
The popular 9-euro nationwide public transport ticket in Germany is set to end on 31 August, after running for three months, and many passengers will face the shock of an increase of previous prices. A survey conducted by press agency dpa among big transport associations, and carried by news outlet Der Spiegel revealed plans of price increases over the next few months. Fares in and around Stuttgart are set to rise by an average of 4.9 percent, while in the greater Nuremberg region increases of 3 percent will be seen, for example. The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund transport association around Frankfurt am Main already increased prices by 3.9 percent as of July.
The high costs of electricity and fuels are burdening transport companies, alongside household consumers, for whom the 9-euro ticket was introduced to ease the higher costs of living exacerbated by the gas crisis. The government funded the 9-euro ticket, estimated to have cost 2.5 billion euros, and many transport associations have said they are open to future similar schemes should the loss of revenues be reimbursed by the government once again. The Stuttgart transport association emphasised how even its 4.9 percent increase in fares will still not reflect the higher costs that the companies are facing due to inflation.
In July, transport minister Volker Wissing said he was willing to consider a follow-up alternative to the 9-euro ticket, but not before the end of the year, when more data becomes available on the success of the scheme. The increased use of rail for transport of fossil fuels, as Germany prepares for gas shortages over the coming months, means that commuters will also likely face greater rail disruptions and congestion as priority is set to be given to fuel deliveries.