At the nationwide launch of the 9-euro ticket on Wednesday, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing was pleased with the great response. Germany’s transport companies expect to sell a total of 30 million tickets for one-time and subscription customers.
“There is a real run” on the ticket, said Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) on Tuesday. “We are launching something new and special that will specifically help people, save energy and at the same time make an important contribution to climate protection.” The federal, state and industry sectors can be proud of having implemented this mammoth project in such a short time. The implementation of the project is also being followed closely across national borders.
The President of the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), Ingo Wortmann, assured: “We will put everything that can drive on the roads and rails in order to transport passengers in the best possible way.” The industry wants to convince as many customers as possible of the efficiency of local public transport. VDV Managing Director Oliver Wolff called for “a little calmness” in view of the expected rush, especially in holiday regions. Even at a big concert, people would be “closely packed”.
Wissing announced an exact evaluation of the 9-euro ticket. Questions are, for example, how important the price is for users of public transport and where there is a need for improvement. VDV President Wortmann said that “we will learn a great deal” from market research.
Demand for frequency increase to make public transport more attractive
According to Wortmann, one thing is already certain: “We will not have enough supply” for a “real changeover in the cities” and in rural areas. He hopes that “municipalities, states and the federal government will all pull together” to finance the necessary expansion.
The Chairwoman of the Conference of Transport Ministers, Bremen’s Transport Senator Maike Schaefer (Greens), repeated the demands of the states to the federal government to increase the regionalization funds. “We need to expand routes and increase frequency to make public transport more attractive.” It is also very clear that public transport should not become much more expensive after the end of the 9-euro ticket than before. The federal states could not raise the necessary funds alone.
Federal Transport Minister Wissing was cautious: the federal government already finances public transport with more than ten billion euros a year, has taken over half of the corona-related loss of income and is now covering the costs for the loss of income from the 9-euro ticket. He pointed out that the transport companies benefited from the tank discount and from the planned elimination of the green electricity levy from July 1st.
Wissing repeated his demand for more transparency about the use of regionalization funds, which the Federal Court of Auditors had called for. He referred to the federal-state working group on the “Public Transport Expansion and Modernization Pact”, which is intended to clarify this question, among other things. It is to present the first results at the transport ministers’ conference in the autumn. The Federal Transport Minister explained that the question of financing was “at the end and not at the beginning”.
The Federal Association of Consumers (vzbv) also called for further investments in public transport. Even after the end of the three months with the 9-euro ticket, he must remain cheap. Board member Jutta Gurkmann specifically called for a price moratorium for the duration of the energy price crisis, simple and reliable information on travel offers and a nationwide mobility guarantee – it exists in North Rhine-Westphalia, from a 20-minute delay on the bus or train, passengers can use alternative means of transport.