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Germany launches €49/month ticket for trains, buses and trams

On Monday 3 April, Germany’s monthly €49 nationwide public transport ticket went on sale.

The ticket will be valid on local and regional transport throughout the country from 1 May. 

Customers can now pre-purchase the ‘Deutschland-Ticket’ or ‘D-Ticket’ on Deutsche Bahn’s website and app, and from transport companies across Germany. It is available as a digital subscription that can be cancelled monthly.

Transport Minister Volker Wissing said in November that the move was aimed at cutting emissions and helping people to cope with the cost of living crisis.

In summer 2022, a €9 per month ticket was introduced as an experiment. The new ticket raises that to €49 or around €1.60 per day.

Where is the Deutschland Ticket valid?

The ticket is valid on buses and trains – all short and medium-distance public transport – at a lower cost than normal. It is not valid on trains operated by DB Fernverkehr AG (including RE) or other long-distance providers such as FlixTrain (IC, EC, ICE).

The government is currently in talks with DB Fernverkehr about exceptions on certain sections of line.

Transport Ministers from 16 different German states agreed on the new monthly fee. It was originally slated to be available from January but will now come into force in May.

Instead of a one-off purchase like the €9 scheme this summer, the new paperless ticket is offered as a subscription.

It’s an attractive option as it is valid on all German public transport networks – many of which have a confusing fare system.

Children under six years old do not need a ticket.

What happened to the €9 monthly ticket?

In June, July and August 2022, a €9 ticket was trialled that enabled people to travel across train, bus and tram networks throughout the country.

It was introduced to try and combat rising inflation as a consequence of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The ticket was also supposed to encourage people to take environmentally friendly transport and reduce fuel use.

German transport companies association VDV said that it saved around 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions during these three months.

Many people asked for a successor to the scheme but there were disagreements about the price and who would pay the bill for the subsidised ticket. Finally, an agreement was made to introduce the new scheme, charging what was deemed a more sustainable price – €49 a month.

Some states have decided to create their own version of the scheme too. Berlin introduced a €29 ticket that is valid on public transport in the region. The subscription went on sale in October but is only available until the end of April 2023, when it will be replaced by the €49 ticket.

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