9-euro ticket plans stall as government and states bicker over financing
The German government’s announcement that it would be offering discounted monthly public transport tickets this summer has been met with excitement. But now plans appear to be stalling as the federal government and the federal states bicker over who will foot the bill.
Federal states want more money to cover 9-euro ticket
A row has broken out in Germany over the financing of the much-feted 9-euro public transport ticket scheme, which is due to kick off on June 1. While the federal government has promised the federal states extra funds to finance public transportation this year, the federal states are arguing that the sum will not be enough to cover their costs.
According to a draft document put together by the Ministry of Transport, the federal government is looking to increase local transport funding to the federal states to 3,7 billion euros this year. Part of this is to reimburse costs incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, while a further 2,5 billion euros has been earmarked for the 9-euro ticket scheme.
Discounted public transport tickets will increase demand
However, the State Conference of Transport Ministers has rejected the current financing package, saying that it places too much of a burden on the federal states. They argue that many people will want to take advantage of the 9-euro ticket scheme, and so extra funds will be needed to cope with the additional demand.
“If, as expected, many people want to use the ticket and additional trains and buses have to be provided for this, the federal government does not want to cover this,” Christian Bernreiter, State Transport Minister for Bavaria, said.
The state transport ministers are requesting an extra 1,5 billion euros from the federal government to cover extra costs for expansion, construction, energy and personnel. The federal government has so far rejected their demands, with Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing saying that the states will also benefit from a number of relief measures in the coming months, including the planned temporary reduction in tax on fuels.