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Could Germany's 9-euro ticket be extended until October?

Could Germany's 9-euro ticket be extended until October?

The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) made headlines on Friday morning by calling for the 9-euro ticket to be extended by an extra two months, to provide extra financial relief while politicians debate a possible successor scheme. But just how likely is an extension? 

VDV calls for 9-euro ticket to be extended by two months

The VDV, an organisation representing transport associations in Germany, has called for the 9-euro ticket to be extended to October, to continue to support people struggling with high energy bills and other spiralling costs. “We need a successor solution quickly,” said Oliver Wolff, general manager of the VDV, in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“It would be best to extend the campaign by another two months as a temporary solution,” Wolff said, to continue relieving German residents of high energy prices in September and October. He said the two-month window would give politicians and the industry time to develop a permanent offer of a nationwide discounted ticket for public transport in Germany. “People shouldn’t fall into a hole at the end of August” while energy prices remain high, he insisted.

Transport Minister Volker Wissing announced this week that he believes a follow-up ticket could be offered by the end of this year or the start of 2023, but in Wolff’s assessment that is too late. “I call on the federal and state governments to get together quickly,” he said.  

German government and federal states continue to disagree over financing

But just how realistic is the VDV’s suggestion? Wissing previously ruled out extending the 9-euro ticket scheme, while more recently Chancellor Olaf Scholz told ARD that the ticket was always going to be limited to three months.

The issue at stake is financing. With the ticket costing the federal government more than 1 billion euros each month, politicians have said that the current scheme is untenable in the long run. Wissing appears to be keen to offload the matter - and therefore the financial burden - to the federal states, recently telling ARD that the states would have to decide for themselves “how they want to finance it.” He insisted, “Public transport and tariffs are a matter for the federal states and not the federal government.”

Indeed, apart from discussing relatively vague plans for a Klimaticket, the Federal Transport Ministry has so far reacted cautiously to discussions about possible successor schemes like a 365-euro ticket or a 69-euro ticket, emphasising that there is a fixed procedure for deciding the future and financing of transport.

However, the federal states are arguing that the federal government is implicated in the matter and should contribute financially. The chair of the Conference of Transport Ministers, Maike Shaefer, recently told dpa that any continuation of a discounted public transport scheme would require a massive increase in the regionalisation funds they receive from the federal government.

Whatever happens, it looks like there’s going to be a lot of back and forth before a solution is finally agreed upon. 

Image: 1take1shot / Shutterstock.com

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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