High demand in the first month of the nine-euro ticket – and interest also remains strong for July. As expected, regional traffic, especially on tourist routes, often reached its limits.

According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), around 21 million special tickets were sold nationwide in the first month of validity of the so-called nine-euro ticket.

“Together with the approximately ten million subscribers who automatically receive the discounted ticket, the number of 30 million tickets per month previously calculated by the industry has not only been reached, but even slightly exceeded,” said VDV President Ingo Wortmann With. The figures relate exclusively to June.

According to surveys by the VDV, people are said to have signaled a similarly high level of willingness to buy for July. The ticket entitles buyers to travel throughout Germany on local public transport in June, July and August for nine euros each. Subscribers can use their subscription tickets like a nine-euro ticket and are reimbursed for the difference for the three months.

Use not so easy to understand

However, it is more difficult to determine how the ticket is actually used than the sales figures. Deutsche Bahn, through whose channels most of the special tickets were sold, speaks of a passenger growth of 10 to 15 percent in its own regional transport in June compared to the level before the Corona crisis. However, according to the company, it is comparing different periods of time, namely June of this year with the demand at the end of 2019. The comparison is therefore of limited significance.

The fact is: Buses and trains were full, especially on the tourist routes. Because at the same time construction was at a record level, there were repeated cancellations and delays in many places. More often, passengers with bicycles had to stay outside. According to the railway, more than a million bicycles were transported on the company’s own trains.

After all, the railway subsidiary DB Regio offers 250 additional trips daily during the ticket period. But in view of around 22,000 regional train journeys every day, that’s not too much. “But the companies certainly can’t retrofit any more, because there are neither the vehicles nor the staff,” said the honorary chairman of the Pro Bahn passenger association, Karl-Peter Naumann, recently.