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Berlin considers 1 euro per day annual public transport ticket

Berlin considers 1 euro per day annual public transport ticket

Berlin considers 1 euro per day annual public transport ticket

The mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, wants to lower the cost of an annual public transportation ticket to 365 euros per year. 

Müller wants to slash annual ticket costs in Berlin

In an interview with the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the SPD politician said that he was “inspired” by the example set by Vienna, where an annual subscription for all S-bahns, U-bahns and buses costs 365 euros, the equivalent of one euro per day. If enacted, the move would drastically reduce the cost of an annual subscription, which currently stands at 761 euros per year. 

As yet, Müller has not made it clear how he would finance his proposal, leading to a rather sceptical response from the Berlin CDU faction. In a statement, they acknowledged the attractiveness of the idea, but lamented that “Unlike in Austria’s capital, our transport system is unfortunately under-funded.”

German government investing in public transportation

However, a nationwide petition to slash the cost of annual tickets, launched last year by the Clever Cities initiative, envisioned that the reallocation of diesel subsidies could actually finance the price reduction. With the whole country gradually turning its back on diesel fuel, this could make perfect sense. 

Alternatively, the federal government, which is considering free public transportation as a possible means of reducing air pollution to meet EU targets, may be willing to step in and plug the gap. Indeed, five German cities have already been allocated 128 million euros in subsidies to offer significantly cheaper public transportation. A 365 euro ticket is already being trialled in Bonn and Reutlingen, with Essen, Herrenberg and Mannheim also earmarked for future tests. 

365-euro ticket successful in Vienna

If successful, the 365-euro ticket may well go ahead in Berlin and other German cities. The roaring success of the scheme in Vienna gives good reason to be optimistic. After the cost was lowered from 449 euros to 365 euros in the Austrian capital in May 2012, the number of annual tickets sold shot up dramatically. 

In 2012, 373.000 annual tickets were purchased. By 2018, that had more than doubled, to 822.000, enabling the transport association responsible for Vienna’s network, Wiener Linien, to proclaim that the city now had more annual ticket subscriptions than cars.

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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