Germany ticket The most important questions and answers about the 49-euro ticket
The Deutschlandticket has started. Where is it valid and for whom is the ticket worthwhile? We clarify the most important questions about the 49-euro ticket.
A successor to the popular 9-euro ticket has been discussed for a long time. The so-called Deutschlandticket (49-euro ticket) has now made it through the Bundestag and has been bundling public transport offers throughout Germany since May 1st. However, some questions about the concrete implementation remain. We answer the most important ones here:
How does the 49 euro ticket work?
The 49-euro ticket is intended to be an offer that replaces the complicated ticket structures of various transport associations with a uniform ticket throughout Germany. In addition, it should be cheaper than most regional subscriptions. It is offered as a monthly cancellable subscription. The ticket is not transferable.
Where can you go with the 49 euro ticket?
With the Deutschlandticket you can use local transport throughout Germany. As with the 9-euro ticket, you could travel from Cologne to Munich, for example, if you only use the included regional trains.
Simple, but more expensive: What can the planned local transport ticket do?
Whether the monthly ticket for 49 euros pays off for regular customers depends on the location and route. If you only travel within your own city, you can expect a more or less large discount. In Frankfurt, the cheapest version of the subscription costs around 77 euros, in Berlin around 63 euros and in Paderborn only around 55 euros.
Things are clearer for people who commute from the outskirts to inner cities. For them, the planned offer is worthwhile in most cases. Because up until now, the following applied to the tariffs: the further, the more expensive. If you commute the 50 kilometers between Lüneburg and Hamburg, you pay at least around 187 euros a month for a subscription. If the unit price comes, then the following applies: the further, the greater the savings.
Many have gotten used to it: traffic jams every morning, ordeals on the main roads in the big city. A new, permanently cheap ticket for buses and trains could make some people ponder – and maybe make them switch. However: in most cases, traveling by bus or train is already cheaper than owning a car. Because this costs several hundred euros every month. Many drive cars anyway, the price is not the main argument for them.
The 9-euro ticket has made itself felt primarily in tourist destinations. Many took advantage of the opportunity for inexpensive excursions. That should change with a successor solution for 49 euros. Because for occasional day trips, especially with several travelers, the existing state train tickets or the nationwide Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket are often cheaper.
If buses or trains rarely stop nearby, even the cheapest ticket is of little use – as in many villages. At more than every third stop in Germany, according to calculations by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Ioki, you can’t even drive in one direction or the other once an hour. The ADAC motoring club is also warning that gaps in the public offering should continue to be closed.
According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), there must not only be money for cheaper tickets, but also for more buses and trains. “Otherwise, services will have to be canceled extensively in the coming year, since they can no longer be financed with the available funds,” adds the Federal Association of Local Rail Transport.
“The family component is missing,” criticizes Karl-Peter Naumann, honorary chairman of the Pro Bahn passenger association. In any case, free child transport like the 9-euro ticket has not yet been announced. That will discourage some from switching to buses and trains. “For drivers, however, it makes no difference in terms of costs whether they take their children with them.”
The ICE runs a good hour in the morning from Berlin to Wolfsburg, a connection that commuters also use. If they wanted to use the new ticket, they would have to spend more than three hours on local trains – not a good alternative. The same applies to long-distance trips through Germany, unless you have a lot of time. But if you have a lot of time, you can also secure saver price tickets for long-distance transport from 17.90 euros and travel with the ICE.
Which trains can you use with the Deutschlandticket?
The means of transport included include all local transport in Germany, i.e. buses, trams, underground trains, S-Bahn trains and regional trains. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Deutsche Bahn or a regional operator. It also includes some ferries, which are part of local transport. Long-distance trains operated by Deutsche Bahn such as IC and ICE trains are not included. First class on trains may not be used with the ticket. Likewise, buses and trains from Flixbus cannot be used with the ticket, as well as a few regional express connections.
Also read: Why the train collects the Deutschlandticket twice
Where can I buy the ticket?
The ticket has been working as a monthly cancelable subscription since May 1st. Customers can take out a contract, among other things, via the app and website of Deutsche Bahn and with the respective regional transport companies. Various companies also offer their own apps through which the subscription can be taken out, such as the transport service provider Hansecom and Mobility Inside. During checks, the subscription can then be proven by chip card or mobile phone ticket.
For whom is the 49-euro ticket worthwhile?
There are already a large number of tickets and subscriptions in the various regions of Germany that offer different services at different prices. Therefore advises Consumer Center to compare the local offers not only in terms of price, but also in terms of the scope of services with the 49-euro ticket.
If you already have a ticket, you can ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the regional offer cheaper than the Deutschlandticket?
2. How often would I use the additional spatial flexibility of the Deutschlandticket?
3. Can I take people with me on my current ticket and do I use this function?
4. Is my current ticket transferable and can I use it with someone else?
5. Do I regularly take my dog or a bicycle with me?
What will change with the 49-euro ticket for subscribers?
The various transport companies are each treating the introduction of the Deutschlandticket differently. In most cases, subscribers are informed by the transport company about changes or conversions to the existing subscription. It is then often possible to switch the subscription to the Deutschlandticket. Subscribers should take a close look and rate the offers according to the questions from the above point “For whom is the 49-euro ticket worth it?”. The Consumer Center advises you to take a close look at a change, as subscription benefits can be lost as a result of the change.
Is there a cheaper 49-euro ticket for students, pupils, trainees and senior citizens?
In some federal states, such as Bavaria, cheaper versions of the Deutschlandticket for trainees and students have already been announced. In other countries, discounts for seniors and schoolchildren are also being considered, and some federal states already have their own variants, such as the youth ticket in Baden-Württemberg. Suggestions are usually based on a variant for 29 euros per month. In the case of students, a reduction and Germany-wide validity of the existing semester ticket is currently being discussed. As an interim solution, an “upgrade” for the semester ticket will be offered from May 1st in the 2023 summer semester. This can be purchased directly from the transport associations and, depending on the region, costs between 10 and 20 euros or, as in Nuremberg, is free.
How is the 49 euro ticket financed?
During the debate about the exact design of the Germany ticket, the price was a central point of contention. In particular, many considered a simple continuation of the previous 9-euro ticket to be unaffordable. According to the decision of the Bundestag, half of the lower income of the transport companies from the current 49-euro ticket should be borne by the federal government and the other half by the federal states. The federal government is providing 1.5 billion euros annually for this until 2025. The countries should bear the rest.
Does the price of 49 euros remain?
The agreed price of 49 euros is expressly intended to be an introductory price. Accordingly, the price can be raised by the Bundestag in the future. Changes should be coordinated between the federal and state governments for this purpose. However, representatives of the traffic light coalition emphasized that the price should be maintained for as long as possible.
Is there criticism of the 49-euro ticket?
The Union criticizes that the ticket only makes sense for people in metropolitan areas. Furthermore, it is a mistake not to use government spending to expand and improve the offer instead. From the left there is criticism of the price of the ticket. According to them, the ticket is still too expensive to get many people to switch.
What about existing subscriptions?
This differs from union to union. In principle, the 49-euro ticket is an additional subscription and does not automatically replace existing offers from transport companies and associations. Existing subscription customers should therefore obtain information from the issuing transport company beforehand.
How do I book connections that consist of long-distance and regional traffic?
Some long-distance routes are now also cheaper, since only the long-distance ticket has to be booked. For example, if you want to travel from Berlin to Paderborn, you only have to pay for the ICE journey to Bielefeld; the journey on to Paderborn is covered by the Deutschlandticket. So far, however, there is no option to state that you have the Germany ticket when booking. There is only the following note: “For holders of the Germany ticket, it may be cheaper to limit the inquiry and booking to the long-distance route, since local transport (e.g. RB) is already covered by this. Further information (among other things on possibly restricted passenger rights) is available at bahn.de/deutschlandticket.”
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