First German city opts out of the 49-euro ticket scheme

First German city opts out of the 49-euro ticket scheme

The city of Stendal in northern Germany is the first to have opted out of the 49-euro Deutschlandticket scheme, as fears over the future of the ticket continue.

Stendal opts out of Germany’s 49-euro ticket scheme

The city of Stendal in Saxony-Anhalt has announced that from January 1, 2024, the Deutschlandticket will no longer be valid on public transport operated by the municipality.

While the ticket will still be valid everywhere else in Germany, the move makes Stendal the first place in the country to leave the 49-euro ticket scheme.

People who have a Deutschlandticket subscription will still be able to use their ticket to visit the city, but the six buses operating in Stendal and 35 buses which move between the city and nearby Seehausen, Osterburg and Tangermünde will be affected. Passengers will have to buy an additional ticket for these services come the new year.

Further opting out could lead to major confusion among passengers

After months of debate, in November the German federal and state governments agreed on a way to fund the 49-euro Deutschlandticket past May 2024. According to reports from rbb, the ticket will be partly funded using the leftover budget from 2023.

The announcement followed fraught discussions about whether it was the responsibility of the state-level governments or the German federal government to provide funding to continue the scheme. 

The Association of German Districts (DLT) said that the decision in Stendal was unsurprising, given that further clarification is needed as to how the ticket scheme funding costs will be divided between state-level and federal governments in the long run.

This battle leaves municipalities at a loose end. "The states must oblige the districts to use the Deutschlandticket and thus also assume the responsibilities of financing it," DLT President Reinhard Sager said.

So far, only the state of Thuringia has legally mandated that municipalities within the state offer the Deutschlandticket. Minister for Transport in Thuringia Susanna Karawanskij (Left) said that if more municipalities follow in the footsteps of Stendal, the whole scheme could become hugely confusing to passengers. Unless something changes, “the entire Deutschlandticket system could simply collapse,” Greens representative for Altmark Christian Hauer added.

Thumb image credit: nikkimeel /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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