From January, Germany will introduce a nationwide public transport ticket costing €49 a month.
Transport Minister Volker Wissing said on Wednesday that the move was aimed at cutting emissions and helping people to cope with the cost of living crisis.
Over the summer, a €9 per month ticket was introduced as an experiment. The new ‘Deutschlandticket’ or German Ticket, raises that to €49 or around €1.60 per day.
Where is the Deutschland Ticket valid?
The ticket is valid on buses and trains - all short and medium-distance public transport - at a lower cost than normal. It won’t be valid on intercity trains.
Transport Ministers from 16 different German states have agreed on the new monthly fee. It will be implemented “as soon as possible”, according to an announcement from the Federal Government. This could be as soon as 1 January 2023.
Instead of a one-off purchase like the €9 scheme this summer, the new paperless ticket will be offered as a subscription.
It's an attractive option as it will be valid on all German public transport networks - many of which have a confusing fare system.
What happened to the €9 monthly ticket?
In June, July and August, a €9 ticket was trialled that enabled people to travel across train, bus and tram networks throughout the country.
It was introduced to try and combat rising inflation as a consequence of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The ticket was also supposed to encourage people to take environmentally friendly transport and reduce fuel use.
German transport companies association VDV said that it saved around 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions during these three months.
Many people asked for a successor to the scheme but there were disagreements about the price and who would pay the bill for the subsidised ticket. Finally, an agreement was made to introduce the new scheme, charging what was deemed a more sustainable price - €49 a month.
Some states have decided to create their own version of the scheme too. Berlin introduced a €29 ticket that is valid on public transport in the region. The subscription went on sale in October but will only be available until the end of March next year.