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Local public transport: One year Deutschlandticket – the subscription in five facts

Local public transport: One year Deutschlandticket – the subscription in five facts

The Deutschlandticket will be one year old on May 1st. It has significantly increased demand for public transport and at the same time exposed its weak points.

The Deutschlandticket has been around for a year. With the subscription, users can travel throughout the country on local and regional buses and trains for 49 euros per month. The offer has an average of around 11.2 million subscribers. Has it revolutionized public transport as hoped? Five facts.

1. Every second person uses the ticket to go to work or school

The Deutschlandticket is primarily a commuter subscription. Around every second subscriber uses the ticket to go to work or school, as a study by Deutsche Bahn has shown. In many cases, employers offer the ticket to their employees as a discounted job ticket.

If companies give their employees at least a 25 percent discount on the subscription, the federal government adds another five percent. In this way, employees can use the offer for just 34.30 euros per month instead of 49 euros. Many companies offer even more extensive discounts, and some even give them as gifts to their employees. Around 17 percent of all Germany tickets are such job ticket variants.

2. The majority of users have had the ticket continuously since the beginning

The Germany subscription can be canceled monthly. However, surveys by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) show that the number of people who order the subscription sporadically and then cancel it again because they don’t need it is limited. Only seven percent of owners cancel their subscription at the end of the month. However, more than half of those surveyed (56 percent) have been using it intermittently since the beginning. Almost one in three people owned it for at least eight months.

3. The ticket shows where there is a lack of capacity in local public transport

Due to the increased demand as a result of the Deutschlandticket, buses and trains have become more crowded. Last summer, trains were often completely overloaded, particularly on routes that are popular with tourists, such as from Berlin to the Baltic Sea, from Munich to the mountains or from Hamburg to the North Sea.

Deutsche Bahn wants to expand the number of seats on regional transport this year in coordination with the authorities. In principle, capacity utilization in local public transport (ÖPNV) is also significantly lower than in long-distance transport, rail passenger transport board member Evelyn Palla recently emphasized. But expanding supply costs the states and associations a lot of money and has so far not been able to keep up with the increased demand.

“The biggest shortcoming so far is the inadequate availability of buses and trains in rural areas,” said the managing director of the pro-rail Alliance Alliance, Dirk Flege, recently. “What is needed is an expansion of the offer, an expansion of job ticket offers and further simplification of the ticket price regulations, which are still too complicated, for example for taking bicycles and children with you.”

4. Fewer people are switching from cars to buses and trains than hoped

According to surveys by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), around 16 percent of Deutschlandticket users get into the car less often since they have the subscription. Nevertheless, the modal shift has not yet taken place to the extent hoped.

“What the Deutschlandticket has not yet achieved is making a contribution to getting more people out of their cars and into local public transport,” said VDV President Wortmann recently. This requires significantly more new customers who previously had no contact with public transport. There would have to be around a third of new customers so that the offer would be accompanied by a noticeable shift in traffic that would contribute to the climate goals.

5. The ticket won’t cost 49 euros forever

The argument about money is as old as the offer. The ticket currently costs 49 euros per month. It can be canceled at any time at the end of a month. The federal and state governments subsidize the offer with 1.5 billion euros each year. Financing is secured up to and including next year. But there is still no final commitment from the federal government for the years that follow, even though Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) always emphasizes that the ticket is intended to be permanent. There is only a price guarantee from the federal and state governments for this year. The Germany subscription could therefore become more expensive for users as early as 2025.

Source: Stern

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