24 Jul 2023, 13:31
Jennifer Collins

Journeys made by rail increase since introduction of flatrate 'Germany ticket' – media

dpa / ARD

The number of rail journeys in Germany has increased since the introduction of a new nationwide 'Germany ticket' in May, according to a report by news agency dpa published by broadcaster ARD. Train journeys of more than 30 kilometres rose by over a quarter in June compared to April, according to an analysis of cell phone mobility data from telecommunications company O2 Telefónica made available to the news agency. Rail’s share in passenger transport also increased by 2.5 percentage points compared to the period before the introduction of the flatrate ticket costing 49 euros. Holders of the 'Germany ticket' can use all local and regional public transport throughout the country for the monthly fee, instead of the previous system of many parallel but separated monthly tickets for local public transport services. Some 9.6 million passengers used the ticket in June, with numbers expected to rise by a further 17 million, according to the article. The ticket hasn’t seen the same success as its 9-euro predecessor, which was available for three months in summer 2022 in a bid to reduce the financial impact of the energy crisis on citizens. Some 52 million units of the budget public transport ticket were sold, leading to a massive ramp up in train travel.

The German government agreed that the new ticket should succeed the 9-euro version, which had been introduced to offset rising fuel costs and led to a drop in CO2 emissions. The government hoped the 49-euro price would still be attractive enough to make car users switch to public transport. While environmental associations welcomed the initiative, they worried the higher price would hinder uptake. Germany’s mobility sector is often branded as the country’s “problem child” when it comes to climate protection as emissions have remained stubbornly high.

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