Where is the fair price? Transport companies require a 69-euro ticket
7/14/2022, 6:32 p.m
The 9-euro ticket is well received by consumers. Politicians, companies and associations are struggling to come up with a follow-up regulation for the period after the phase-out. A proposal for a 29-euro ticket was already in the room. The transport companies advocate a slightly more expensive solution.
Following the 9-euro ticket, there will also be a uniform flat rate for local public transport throughout Germany in the future. The Association of Transport Companies (VDV) called for this and proposed a tariff of 69 euros per month for regional and city transport. “That has to be decided quickly, we can’t wait until autumn,” said VDV general manager Oliver Wolff in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” according to the advance notice.
For this he received support from the Greens boss Ricarda Lang. “We will discuss the model in the coalition, but one thing is clear: a follow-up regulation is needed that – as proposed by the Federal Minister of Transport – applies as uniformly as possible nationwide and is cheap, i.e. also social,” Lang told the newspaper.
Politically, such a quick regulation creates a major challenge, because the financing has to be secured first. So far, the consensus has been that the drastic reduction in public transport prices to nine euros a month will expire after three months at the end of August. It is part of the federal government’s first relief package in response to the Ukraine war and has met with great approval from the population: more than 31 million new users and subscribers benefited from the cheap tariff in June alone.
According to the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the VDV estimates the cost of a 69-euro ticket to be around two billion euros a year. They would be below the 2.5 billion euros that the federal government transfers to the states to compensate for the lost ticket income in the three months of the 9-euro ticket. For financing, Wolff brought up the idea of another special fund, such as that for the German Armed Forces. In any case, a change in the law during the parliamentary summer break would be necessary for a successor regulation. The plan so far is that the Bundestag will not meet again until September 6, but MPs may have to meet for a special session anyway.
Consumer centers want a 29-euro ticket
The Green leader made it clear to the newspaper that she does not want to commit to a specific model. Several suggestions are currently circulating, but it seems impossible that the 9-euro ticket will simply be extended. The consumer centers want a ticket for 29 euros a month, party colleagues from Lang from Berlin had also spoken out in favor of a solution at this rate.
“We are faced with the task of having to achieve two goals at the same time,” says Lang of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. “We want a cheap ticket and at the same time improve the quality of the offer, which means investing in the infrastructure.”
In contrast, the President of the Association of German Cities, Markus Lewe, warns that politicians should not give the impression “that the party just goes on”. He says: “We are not only experiencing a turning point, but a real break.” He fears that if energy and personnel costs continue to rise, a completely different topic will soon dominate: “My concern is that the transport companies will thin out their services,” warns Lewe, who is also the mayor of Münster.