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Pro Bahn warns of “death of the Germany ticket”

The Pro Bahn passenger association fears an end to the 49-euro ticket if other municipalities after the Stendal district withdraw from the offer. The financial dispute over the ticket remains unresolved.

After the first district decided to phase out the 49-euro ticket at the turn of the year, the Pro Bahn passenger association is warning of the consequences. If other municipalities reacted in this way, it would be the “death of the Deutschlandticket,” said Detlef Neuß, federal chairman of Pro Bahn, in the MDR-TV. If it is no longer valid throughout Germany, the ease of use that characterizes it will be lost.

Last week, the district council of the Stendal district in Saxony-Anhalt did not approve a resolution to recognize the Deutschlandticket in the district. This means that the ticket will no longer be valid on the buses there from January 1st. Passengers with a 49 euro ticket will have to buy an additional ticket in the future. Other districts in Saxony-Anhalt are also currently seeing problems with the continuation of the ticket.

Other districts are seeing problems

The financing of the 49 euro ticket is still unclear. The federal and state governments have been arguing about this for months, and consultations between transport ministers have so far failed to produce an agreement. Both sides have so far contributed 1.5 billion euros annually. If there is not enough money, the federal and state governments currently share the additional costs. The federal government rejects further financial commitments from 2024 onwards – the states are responsible for regional transport.

According to the Berlin “Tagesspiegel”, the FDP-led Federal Ministry of Transport reacted to the decision in Stendal with incomprehension. On the other hand, the German District Council considers the decision to be consistent. President Reinhard Sager told the dpa news agency that if the financing burden continued to be passed on to the municipalities, they would either have to discontinue the ticket or reduce the offer.

Transport associations will increase prices in 2024

The transport companies expect that there will be significant additional costs in the coming year. They are losing income because, for example, subscribers have switched to the cheaper Germany ticket. Therefore, several transport associations, especially large ones, are increasing fares on January 1st – this was the result of a dpa survey among around a dozen transport associations.

These include, among others, the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association (VBB), the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association (VRR) and the Munich Transport Association (MVV). Other associations have already increased prices this year, and others want to decide on this in the spring.

More passengers thanks Germany ticket

Thanks to the Deutschlandticket, more people in Germany now use buses and trains. In the first half of 2023, passenger volume increased by ten percent compared to the same period last year. This means that around 5.3 billion passengers used local public transport (ÖPNV) in the first six months, as the Federal Statistical Office announced.

For railways (including S-Bahn), there was an increase of 14 percent to more than 1.2 billion passengers. Trams also recorded an increase of 14 percent to 1.8 billion. Local bus transport increased by seven percent to almost 2.5 billion passengers.

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