Ministers agree on 49-euro public transport ticket, financing still in the air
Süddeutsche Zeitung / Tagesspiegel
German federal and state transport ministers have agreed to support the implementation of a nationwide 49-euro local public transport ticket but funding still needs to be clarified, reports newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. After months of negotiations over a follow up to Germany’s 9-euro public transport ticket, the 16 state transport ministers and the national transport minister have come to an agreement over a new offer. “With our decision today, we are getting the biggest reform of public transport under way,” said federal transport minister Volker Wissing in a press conference. The 49-euro ticket should be valid on local trains and buses nationwide and ideally be introduced already by the start of 2023. Before the ticket can be put in place however, questions over financing need to be settled. States are willing to carry some of the projected costs of three billion euros, but ask for an additional 1.5 billion euros from the federal government to strengthen local public transport offers, as well as compensation for energy cost increases and pandemic aid, newspaper Tagesspiegel reports.
Transport ministers hope the price offer will be inviting enough to get car users onto public transport. “This starting price leads to a high share of new customers and has a high climate impact,” states a summary of key decisions of the transport ministers conference, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. The 49-euro ticket should be digital-only and run under a subscription model, but users will be able to cancel every month. The proposal comes after the success of the 9-euro public transport ticket, which was introduced in an effort to offset rising fuel costs. In place between June and August 2022, around 52 million tickets were sold. Environmental associations have welcomed the initiative but worry the high price will hinder uptake.