Berlin to extend 29-euro ticket and offer new 9-euro “social ticket”
Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey has announced that the 29-euro ticket will be extended beyond its original December 2022 expiry date, while a new 9-euro “social ticket” will be made available to lower-income Berliners from January 2023.
Giffey extends Berlin 29-euro ticket
On Tuesday, Berlin’s SPD mayor Franziska Giffey announced that the city’s current 29-euro ticket programme would be extended by an extra three months from January to March 2023. The Senate’s initial plan was for the 29-euro ticket, which can only be used on public transport in Berlin, to be replaced by the Germany-wide 49-euro ticket.
Giffey announced that it was likely the 49-euro ticket would not be ready for use by January and so the current 29-euro programme would be extended. Following the popularity of the Germany-wide 9-euro ticket during the summer, last month’s announcement of the more pricey 49-euro follow up wasn’t met with as much enthusiasm as its predecessor. A question mark is also hanging over Giffey's position as mayor as votes in Berlin’s 2021 election are now likely to be recast in 431 constituencies across the German city.
Possible plans outlined by Greens mobility senator Bettina Jarasch include “build[ing] on the 49-euro ticket in some areas” and offering a discounted version in Berlin. Jarasch has also suggested that the inner-city services, together with the transport association which serves Berlin and Brandenburg (VBB), should offer a varying fare structure which considers inequality of income.
New 9-euro Berlin “social ticket” announced
On Tuesday Giffey also announced that the 29-euro ticket extension will be accompanied by the introduction of a 9-euro Berlin Sozialticket (social ticket). The ticket will be introduced from January 2023, though it is not yet clear to whom it will be available.
The city’s current social ticket costs 27,50 euros per month and only available to those with a so-called “Berlin Pass”. Groups eligible for a Berlin Pass include people who receive Hartz IV unemployment benefits, asylum seekers’ benefits, housing benefits and certain groups of pensioners.
The city’s senate has agreed on a total budget of 2,6 billion euros to subsidise the transport tickets and other energy crisis relief measures. The 29-euro ticket alone is expected to cost the state of Berlin 500 million euros over 2022 and 2023.