It has been known since the end of March: a €9 ticket is intended to rest public transport users across the country for three months (we reported). But what few people know: The Bundestag and the Bundesrat have yet to decide on this in the end. If it happened on May 19 and 20, there would be no legal doubts: the cheap monthly ticket would come then. There are currently details of project financing to be clarified between the federal and state governments, because the loss of income in the public transport industry must be funded by the federal government over €2.5 billion.
However, according to Jochen Erlhof, Managing Director of Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG), there is already “pressure due to the passage of time” on associations and carriers. In the past few weeks, it was still unclear how exactly the show should be implemented. But now MVG has announced implementation details on Tuesday. The €9 ticket will be valid for new and existing customers, and thus benefit all passengers.
Execution of a 9 euro ticket for existing customers
All customers with existing subscriptions (such as annual subscriptions and business tickets) should automatically benefit from the lower tariff from June. “All subscribers will receive an individual letter in which implementation details are again listed,” says Christian Hoffmann, MVG’s Head of Customer and Public Affairs. Existing customers can then use local transportation nationwide from June with their existing tickets, so they don’t need an additional ticket. According to Hoffmann, the direct debt will then be reduced to nine euros for this period or the difference will be refunded after that. All relevant subscription benefits (eg regulations for taking passengers with you) remain in effect in the applicable fare area – outside of this, regulations for a €9 ticket for new customers apply.
Refunds are more difficult for students at Johannes Gutenberg and Mainz universities. Students always pay for the semester ticket with the semester fee, i.e. in advance. Since the students themselves are not contractual partners with MVG, but receive a semester ticket from the university or colleges, refunds must be made by the Student Public Committee (AStA), which in turn compensates for this with the MVG. According to Hoffman, MVG is already in talks with ASTA. Hoffman sums up, “The student does not get any money back from us because they didn’t buy a ticket from us.” The ASTA is responsible for the concrete planning and implementation of reimbursement.
Implementation of a ticket 9 euros for new customers
According to MVG, a €9 ticket is available at all known outlets. Monthly tickets are expected to be available for pre-sale there from May 23. For immediate use, a cashless ticket can also be purchased in vehicles from 1 June. Sale via Mainz Mobility is currently in preparation. It is important that the ticket is a personal and non-transferable ticket. Therefore, each user must enter his name on the ticket after purchase. There will also be no regulations for take out orders. In addition, other discounts are not planned: children up to the age of six continue to travel for free, but from the age of six they need their own ticket.
Tickets after that will always be valid for the entire calendar month. Unlike usual, according to the MVG, the ticket is “for the month”, that is, it is always valid from the first to the last day of the month. For example, if the card was purchased on August 1, it will be valid until August 31. If the ticket was only purchased on August 15, it is only valid until August 31.
The usual customs duties will apply from September
Since the €9 ticket is planned as a one-time measure to relieve citizens in times of high energy prices, normal fares will apply again on public transport from September 1. In addition, the offer can only be implemented with huge financial support from the federal government. According to Berit Schmitz, General Manager of MVG, Mobility in Mainz welcomes the offer – also in terms of mobility transformation. “Due to the epidemic, the number of passengers using public transport in Mainz is still below the level it was before the Corona period.” In 2019, there were still approximately four to four and a half million passengers, and currently there are about 20 to 30 percent fewer. The company now expects passenger numbers to increase over the next three months and will evaluate after that.