The federal cabinet cleared the way for the introduction of the 49-euro ticket on Wednesday. In Berlin, it passed a draft law by Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP). The local transport ticket, which is valid throughout Germany, is scheduled to start on May 1st and will be available as a subscription that can be canceled monthly.
Planned start of sales is April 3rd. Now the Bundestag and Bundesrat have to discuss the draft law and decide on the Germany ticket.
Originally, the follow-up offer for the popular 9-euro ticket was supposed to come faster. However, the federal and state governments only finally agreed on the start date and nationwide steps for implementation at the end of last week.
Transport Minister Wissing said after the cabinet decision that the legislative process should be completed by the end of March. Despite some detailed clarifications with the federal states that are still necessary, he sees “no more insurmountable hurdles”.
The FDP politician spoke of a “huge reform” and emphasized that the ticket would also trigger a digitization push in local public transport.
Wissing insists on a digital ticket
The ticket will be a digital ticket from the start, said Wissing. The federal states would have to provide the necessary technology for this by the end of the year: “There can be no Germany tickets in paper form.” Transitional solutions will only be available by the end of the year where the transport companies cannot change their technology quickly enough.
According to the ministry, this can be an additional proof of validity on paper. Wissing announced that the 49-euro ticket would be available both as a chip card and in the form of an app.
He was reacting to fears that only smartphone owners could buy the ticket. “Digital doesn’t just mean by mobile phone,” said Wissing.
From this year until 2025, the federal government will provide the federal states with 1.5 billion euros annually as well as additional regionalization funds, the amount of which will be decided again at the end of 2024. The federal states also want to contribute 1.5 billion euros. However, higher introductory costs are expected, which the federal and state governments want to share in the first year.
Discounts for job tickets decided
Monthly subscriptions or job tickets will also cost 49 euros per month in the future. Employees can get a discount of at least 30 percent on their job ticket if the employer contributes at least a quarter of the price.
The federal and state governments then add a further discount of five percent. From the coming year, price increases are not excluded. From 2024 the ticket price is to be adjusted to inflation.
The general manager of the Paritätisches Gesamtverband, Ulrich Schneider, called for a Germany-wide uniform social ticket. 49 euros are not affordable for many people, he explained. Whether they get a cheaper ticket depends on where they live and the respective state government, he criticized.
After weeks of negotiations, the federal and state governments agreed in December last year on the fastest possible introduction of a local public transport ticket valid throughout Germany for 49 euros. Initially, it should be available in early April.
However, no quick agreement was reached on the cost allocation. The traffic light government also hopes that the introduction will contribute to the turnaround in traffic and the reduction of CO2 emissions. The 9-euro ticket was sold 52 million times in the summer months of June, July and August last year. (epd)
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