The Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag wants to extend the nine-euro ticket. Normally, the promotion would expire at the end of August. – Copyright: picture alliance/Sven Simon, Frank Hoermann
While the Germans go to the bathing lakes in their region with the nine-euro ticket because they are experiencing a really hot summer, politicians are brooding over a successor model. After all, the cheap special ticket has many fans – around 30 million passengers used the nine-euro ticket in June – and the campaign will end by the end of August at the latest.
The Greens in the Bundestag are therefore presenting a concept for the successor this Friday afternoon. The paper, available to Business Insider, says: “The nine-euro ticket is a complete success.” Initial evaluations suggested that the special ticket made people switch from cars to buses and trains. The parliamentary group leader Katharina Dröge (Greens) also sees “positive effects for the climate” and therefore does not want to “let valuable months pass” under any circumstances until the federal government agrees on a follow-up regulation for the 9-euro ticket. Dröge writes that a “seamless follow-up solution” is needed.
The fact that the responsible transport companies already believe that there is not enough time for this is an open question.
One ticket for commuters, one for leisure users
If Dröge and party leader Ricarda Lang have their way, there should be two offers in Germany in the future, some of which fulfill the functions of the nine-euro ticket: one for commuters Monthly ticket for the price of 29 euros. The ticket should be valid “at least nationwide”. In some regions, however, also across the board, if, for example, in the reality of life trips to work take place particularly frequently across the boundaries of the tariff network, such as in Berlin-Brandenburg or Bremen-Hamburg-Lower Saxony. The Greens use the concept of the traffic club VCD, which wants to divide Germany into eight traffic regions.
According to this scheme, the Verkehrsclub (VCD) wants to divide the public transport network in Germany. – Copyright: VCD Verkehrsclub Deutschland
In order to make a connection offer to the numerous leisure users of the nine-euro ticket, the Greens propose it 49 euro ticket for all of Germany. The two-page concept states: “If you don’t want to do without the convenience of nationwide validity, you don’t have to.” With this nationwide ticket, customers would no longer have to deal with the often confusing pricing when changing from one traffic area to the next.
This is how the Greens want to finance the two tickets
A problem that came up again and again in the discussion between the government and the transport industry was the affordability of cheap tickets for local public transport (ÖPNV). The VDV, as the representative of the bus and train companies, had also proposed a connection solution for the nine-euro ticket, but at a price of 69 euros. The reason given by VDV general manager Oliver Wolff was that a low price was not feasible for the company, and the state still had to inject two billion a year. The high energy costs and expenses for personnel are a burden for the public transport industry.
The Greens propose reducing subsidies for company cars as a source of money for the new savings tickets. They want to abolish the so-called company car privilege. The Greens’ concept states that the company car privilege “should take greater account of the CO₂ emissions of vehicles in the future”. In this way, “additional revenue for the federal and state governments” could be generated, which “flowed seamlessly into the financing of the cheap tickets”. However, the coalition partner from the FDP does not want to attack the company car privilege at all, the Greens are therefore ready for talks “about alternative ways of financing at any time”.
Wissing interested in an extension
In the meantime, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is also open in principle to extending the monthly ticket, at least in the short term. “It is now up to the coalition to decide whether the nine-euro ticket can be continued in a modified form,” said a spokesman for the Minister of Transport at the federal press conference. The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) intends to present new figures in the coming days on how often the nine-euro ticket was bought in July for trips to work or excursions.