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Germany’s 49-euro ticket likely delayed... again

Germany’s 49-euro ticket likely delayed... again

Germany’s 49-euro ticket is likely to face further delays, public transport minister Volker Wissing has announced. Federal state governments are getting impatient and pointing fingers at Berlin, accusing them of causing policy delays.

Federal states blame Berlin for 49-euro ticket delays

The enigmatic 49-euro ticket - first it was coming in the New Year, then it was expected in May and now, the launch date remains to be seen. After a recent meeting in Bavaria, Germany’s minister for transportation Volker Wissing seemed sure the May 1 deadline was to stick. But just 10 days later, the promised date has been thrown into further doubt and individual federal states are blaming Wissing for nationwide policy delays.

Since December, a dispute between Berlin and Germany’s federal state governments has been bubbling. On Friday it came to a head when Wissing arrived at a meeting with federal state representatives only to share that he had no authority to implement the 49-euro ticket legislation, despite rising time pressure.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, not only had Wissing failed to bring clarity to the remaining uncertainties about the ticket, but had also brought new problems to the table. The government has now denied federal states’ requests to issue a physical paper ticket, more friendly for older customers, and has failed to bring forth any decision about what rules would apply for children regarding the ticket.

Wissing is also tightening the purse strings when it comes to public transport, with the German federal government now announcing that it will not help fund a data platform which would track where travellers bought their tickets and proportionately distribute income made from the sales. Berlin has also announced that it no longer wants to co-fund ticket discounts for employers.

Federal states fight over 49-euro ticket policy

Speaking to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Green’s transport minister for Baden-Württemberg Winfried Hermann said, “It is not up to us, the federal states, that the 49-euro ticket is delayed.” But even within Germany’s states, there is still a fair amount of 49-euro-related infighting to be ironed out.

Each state is expected to contribute a few thousand euros to a 1-billion euro, nationwide marketing campaign that would promote the ticket, but Hamburg, Berlin and Brandenburg are still reluctant to cough up their share.

For SDP parliamentary group vice chairman Detlef Müller, the country has another incentive for getting a move on. “We have to speed up the implementation of transport policy projects if we want to achieve our climate policy goals,” Müller told Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Thumb image credit: Roman Yanushevsky / Shutterstock.com

Olivia Logan

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Olivia Logan

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