German public transport: Ticket price rises to follow 9-euro ticket
As the 9-euro ticket winds down into its final weeks, people are facing the prospect of paying a lot more for public transport in Germany. Not only will passengers have to pay normal prices again from September, but many transport companies are also planning price hikes.
German transport associations announce price increases
More and more transport associations across Germany are announcing that travelling by bus, tram or train will cost more in the not-too-distant future, as they battle with increased prices for electricity and fuel, according to a new survey by dpa.
In and around Stuttgart, for instance, fares will increase by an average of 4,9 percent at the beginning of 2023; in the greater Nuremberg area, a 3-percent increase is on the horizon. The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsbund, which covers the area around Frankfurt am Main, already announced an increase of 3,9 percent in July.
In Berlin and Brandenburg, the VBB is deciding at the end of September whether to increase fares at the turn of the year. VBB told dpa that it was struggling with high diesel and electricity prices, but that this was not the “sole criterion” as to whether to raise tariffs across the board.
Future of discounted public transport uncertain
The 9-euro ticket has offered unlimited travel with regional transport across Germany for three whole months - and has been declared a resounding success - but so far there is no set follow-up offer.
The transport associations have said that in theory, they are open to the idea of a new discounted public transport ticket, but only if the losses they incur are reimbursed - either by the federal government or the federal states.
In the autumn, a federal-state working group is due to present proposals on the future financing of local public transport. This might also take into consideration various proposals for a 9-euro ticket follow-up, including the 365-euro ticket. The Association of German Transport Companies recently called for a permanent 69-euro monthly ticket that would be valid nationwide on public transport.
While the transport companies are generally in agreement that cheap offers help to convince people to use public transport over driving, others have pointed out that it makes no sense to hugely increase passenger numbers before making sure the infrastructure is there to deal with them - and that means investment in trains and staff.
The prospect of subsidising public transport tickets while also attempting to expand and improve infrastructure is a mathematical equation that will be tricky to balance.