DThe nationwide uniform ticket for local public transport (public transport), the “Deutschlandticket” will probably not be introduced on January 1, but only a few months later. “We all know that we won’t be able to do it by January 1st,” said the SPD’s transport spokeswoman, Dorothee Martin, on Monday at a conference of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) in Berlin.
A number of laws would still have to be changed and questions about state aid would have to be clarified at EU level. This is a much larger reform process than the customers suspected, she emphasized. “I would be super happy if it was March 1st”, at least “well before Easter”. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) did not want to comment on a specific date. He has always emphasized that Deutschlandticket should be introduced “as soon as possible”.
It seems just as certain that the subscription price of 49 euros per month will only be the introductory price, which could possibly be raised soon because of persistent inflation. The industry has a great interest in the success of the Germany ticket, confirmed Ulf Middelberg, spokesman for the management of the Leipzig public transport company. The more tickets are sold, the higher the revenue for the transport company. You had recently criticized that the state subsidies of 3 billion euros were underestimated for a price that was significantly lower than the current average price in the transport associations.
“It’s understandable that 49 euros won’t work forever”
He is glad that the Deutschlandticket is not called a 49-euro ticket, so that this price does not get stuck in people’s minds. “We cannot freeze the price if the costs are rising dramatically left and right.” Otherwise the need for public funding would continue to rise and there would be no budget that would be dynamic with growth rates of up to 8 percent, said Middelberg with a note on the forecast inflation rate by more than 8 percent this year.
The question of whether the new ticket should primarily be available digitally or whether there will also be a paper version that can be bought from machines or at the service counters is also causing discussion. Transport politician Martin pointed out that with the Deutschlandticket, a uniform price would be introduced for the first time in a federal system with dozens of different transport associations. This leads to a completely new system of financing, in which the losses of the individual transport associations would have to be compensated. Therefore, the place of residence of the buyer would have to be digitally traceable. “That speaks against the paper version,” she explained. A chip card is planned to enable people without internet access to buy a Germany ticket.
The board member of the consumer protection association VZBV, Ramona Popp, on the other hand, called for not only offering a digital ticket. One cannot, on the one hand, wish the ticket to be successful and, on the other hand, limit the ways in which people can buy the ticket. She expressed understanding that the price would rise in the foreseeable future. “It’s understandable that 49 euros won’t work forever,” she said.
But then you have to make an offer available that is consumer-friendly.” In the meantime, demands are being made that there must be a cheaper option for people in need in addition to the Deutschlandticket. This was recently requested by the social association VdK. These social tickets already exist in many municipalities such as Berlin, but they are only valid for the respective transport association, i.e. not nationwide.