Germany introduces €9/month travel tickets until end of summer

Germany introduces €9/month travel tickets until end of summer
Deutsche Bahn train. Credit: Belga

In a push to counter the soaring cost of living, the German Government is introducing a 9-Euro-Ticket, which will allow Germans to use public transport across the entire country for just €9 per month until the end of summer.

The offer is valid on all local and regional metros, trams, buses and trains in Germany, as well as on ferries (such as in Berlin or Hamburg) for the months of June, July and August 2022.

"It is a success in the truest sense of the word, a box office hit," Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing told the German DPA News Agency, adding that over seven million tickets have already been sold.

"The initiative has been very well received," he said. "People have really embraced it."

While long-distance intercity trains and private providers such as Thalys, FlixTrain or FlixBus are not included in the cheap tickets, it is also possible to cross Germany using regional trains – albeit more slowly.

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The tickets cost €9 per month for all travellers from the age of 6 and are valid for the month in which it was purchased. Children under 6 travel free of charge and do not need their own ticket.

The country's reduced fuel tax has brought petrol prices back down to below €2 per litre, but fuel is still expensive and the cheap public transport tickets aims to get people to leave their car at home.

However, the country's rail company Deutsche Bahn has already been struggling with overcrowding, delays and cancellations recently, and the prospect of millions of extra passengers has prompted criticism of the plan.

Wissing himself had warned of "heavy congestion" at certain times of day – particularly with the upcoming long weekend in mind – but no major rail problems were reported in the hours after the scheme came into effect on Wednesday.

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