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Train travel: France and Germany plan discounted ticket for young people 

Two engines of an Inter-City Express (ICE) train of German railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) are seen at a platform of Munich's main railway station on November 2, 2022.
Two engines of an Inter-City Express (ICE) train of German railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) are seen at a platform of Munich's main railway station on November 2, 2022.   -   Copyright  AFP   -  
By Charlotte Elton  with AFP

Young people travelling between Germany and France could soon benefit from ultra-cheap train tickets.

The two countries plan to release a "Franco-German train ticket for young people,” transport authorities announced on Saturday.

It’s not yet clear how much this "special youth ticket at a reduced price" will cost, or what age group it will apply to.

But further details will be set out when the Franco-German Council of Ministers meets in January 2023.

The ticket will encourage inter-European travel and help to reduce carbon emissions, said Volker Wissing, Germany’s Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Affairs.

"In order to achieve our climate goals for the transport sector, we have to convince even more people to travel by train. To do this, we have to make attractive offers,” he said.

"I am convinced that with such a ticket, we will strengthen both the relationship between our two countries and the climate-friendly mode of rail.”

Wissing’s French counterpart Clément Beaune echoed these sentiments.

"Travel and exchange are at the heart of the Franco-German relationship. This is an important step in our common ambition for European construction and ecological transition", he said.

Have discounted rail ticket schemes succeeded in the past?

Over the summer, Germany introduced a €9 per month ticket as an experiment. The cheap ticket - introduced to try and combat rising inflation and encourage people to take more environmentally-friendly transport - enabled people to travel across train, bus and tram networks throughout the country.

Canva
The train pass could see discounted travel between Germany and FranceCanva

German transport companies association VDV said that it saved around 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions in three months.

Last week, the German government introduced a successor to the scheme - a €49 per month ticket.

The new ‘Deutschlandticket’ or German Ticket, will cost users around €1.60 per day, and is valid on buses and trains - all short and medium-distance public transport. It is not valid on intercity trains.

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.