19 Dec 2023, 13:25
Jack McGovan

Fed state minister worried about Germany’s €49 transport ticket due to budget crisis

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The German government’s decision to cut its climate budget by 45 billion euros over the next three years could put the country’s ‘Deutschlandticket’ at risk, the transport minister for the state of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Hermann (Green Party), told Süddeutsche Zeitung. The 49-euro monthly ticket allows passengers to travel on regional transport across the whole of Germany. Federal and state governments recently agreed to continue to jointly fund the ticket next year. However, they might face a funding gap, which could lead to a price increase. Hermann worries that, already from 2024, such a possible funding gap might not be filled as the government wants to cap its spending, writes the newspaper. "Without an agreement on the outstanding financial issues, I consider the continuation of the Deutschlandticket or at least its nationwide application to be seriously jeopardised," Hermann told the newspaper. “The federal government and, above all, federal transport minister [Volker] Wissing, should commit to the project that he himself initiated and continue to cover half of the costs of the Deutschlandticket in the coming years,” said Hermann. A spokesperson from the transport ministry told Süddeutsche Zeitung that financing matters had been clarified and there was no need for a renewed discussion.

Ingo Wortmann, president of the Association of German Transport Companies, also criticised the government’s approach to the Deutschlandticket. “What we need in order to make the Deutschlandticket more financially successful is new customers who have rarely or never travelled with us before,” he said. "This requires reliability in the basic conditions of the ticket even beyond next summer."

The funding cuts follow a recent ruling by Germany’s highest court which declared that earmarking 60 billion euros for a special budget, the Climate and Transformation Fund, was unconstitutional. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that agreeing on the 2024 budget meant reduced spending in different government departments, among other measures. By 2030, the German government aims to double the number of passengers on local public transport in order to reduce the country’s transport emissions. The Deutschlandticket, introduced in spring 2023, has been hailed as a potential breakthrough in transport policy that could trigger a long-term change to mobility patterns. However, the issue of how to fund the ticket has been debated by the federal government and states since it was introduced, casting doubt on the offer’s long-term viability.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee