New Berlin semester Deutschlandticket will exclude certain students
Universities in Berlin have announced that certain students will not be able to benefit from the new Deutschlandsemesterticket, igniting criticism from student representatives.
New Berlin semester ticket will have stricter eligibility rules
When the summer semester begins in April 2024, students in Berlin will have to meet new criteria to be eligible for the Deutschlandsemesterticket. Continuing postgraduate, PhD, part-time students doing 50 percent hours or less and long-distance students will not be eligible for the ticket.
Previously, anyone studying at a university in Berlin received a semester ticket, allowing for unlimited travel across the city. The ticket is paid for through university semester fees and costs around 200 euros every six months.
However, once the 49-euro Deutschlandticket became available to everyone across Germany in May 2023, students fought for universities to provide them with a reduced-price semester ticket which would reflect that transportation was now cheaper for everyone in Germany, student or otherwise. In response, Germany's federal and state governments announced back in November that the new Deutschlandsemesterticket would replace the old system and cost just 176,30 euros per semester (29,40 euros per month).
Like the regular Deutschlandticket, the new pass gives students access to transport across the country at a reduced price, an upgrade in service compared to the regional transport access granted as part of the old semester ticket. However, students in Berlin have now been told that eligibility will be much more restrictive than in the old system. Critics pointed out that PhD students on low incomes and people working alongside their studies will be the worst affected by the change.
According to nd, many of Berlin’s universities have already agreed on the new, more restrictive contract terms with the local transport associations, and those that haven’t signed the new contracts have been given little room for negotiation since the deadline for students to pay their semester fees is less than 10 days away.
New Berlin student ticket will only be online
Another change is that student tickets for public transport will no longer be connected to their Campus Card student IDs. Instead, the Deutschlandsemesterticket will only be available digitally.
In a statement, student representatives from Berlin’s Humboldt University said that the ticket should also be available as a printout QR code so that students who don’t have a smartphone or don’t want one are still able to use the ticket. They also noted that there has been ongoing concern about how a scannable ticket compromises the holder’s data security.
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