What you need to know about the 9 euro monthly ticket

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In Stuttgart and Friborg it was possible to buy tickets for 9 euros for a few days – and thousands of customers have already bought them. © Marijan Murad / dpa

For 9 euros per month, you can take a bus and train anywhere in the republic – this should be possible from June 1. Where will the ticket be purchased? What trains does it apply to? questions and answers.

Berlin – Local public transport in Germany may not have been cheap at all: with special monthly tickets of €9, millions of people should be able to take buses and trains anywhere in the republic in June, July and August.

Through the special campaign, the Traffic Lights Alliance also wants to spare non-drivers from higher energy costs. At the same time, it’s a price experience that should generally attract more passengers. It would be a great operation for the carrier to handle the expected rush in a way that the hoped-for magic attack doesn’t disappoint. First, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat have yet to seal funding.

From when should a ticket of €9 be valid?

The ticket must be valid from 1 June – then in June, July and August for the calendar month. Four-week periods cannot be undone, eg from mid-July to mid-August. The price is 9 euros per month.

Its holders can use it to travel around the country on all buses, trams, subways, suburban trains, local and regional trains – regardless of whether they are operated by Deutsche Bahn or other providers. Long-distance transport cannot be used with ICE, Intercity and Eurocity, and Flix green trains and long-distance buses cannot be used. In addition, the ticket is only valid for second class.

Where can I buy a ticket?

For things to start, the finance law has yet to be passed: this Thursday by the Bundestag and then finally on Friday by the Bundesrat. Among other things, the federal government wants to transfer 2.5 billion euros to the states to offset the loss of income due to the ticket.

Once the political path is set, things need to happen quickly. The train and several transportation associations have already announced the start of sales on Monday. The ticket must be available from the machines, ticket counter or online from the carrier. The industry is also planning an online cross-sales platform.

9 euro ticket
Tickets costing €9 will not only be available at outlets, from vending machines and online from individual transport providers – a combined online sales platform for the industry is also planned. © Roland Weihrauch / dpa

Not everyone is waiting. In Stuttgart and Friborg it was possible to buy tickets for 9 euros for a few days – and thousands of customers have already bought them.

What are the conditions?

The ticket costs €9 per number of flights per calendar month. Tickets must also be available for all three months at once, according to Deutsche Bahn. There is no Bahncard discount on €9.

If you already have a monthly or annual subscription, you should pay only 9 euros for the three months. Subscribers receive a message from their provider or transport association about the form of billing: by reducing direct debit or by refunding the difference. These rules must also apply to semester or business tickets.

Can you take your bike with you for free?

If your current subscription states: Yes – but only in the respective subscription area, as explained by the Federal Department of Transportation. In general, a bike ticket must be booked. As a precaution, the train sent out an advance warning that cycling was not guaranteed because the trains were expected to be full. It is best avoided on public holidays.

Can you reserve seats?

Not usually booking options are only available for long distance transportation. However, the €9 ticket is valid for local transfers.

Are there buses and trains crowded?

Public transit hasn’t been a niche show yet. Last year alone, more than three million passengers traveled in nearly 22,000 regional trains on the state-owned railways alone. In the mornings and evenings during rush hour, there is a large crowd on many lines in urban areas – on summer weekends the regional trains to the country are generally full. Cheap tickets now fall into the holiday season, when schoolchildren and passengers sometimes don’t travel at all. Some can use the ticket for excursions and vacation trips.

How big will the rush be?

Nobody knows for sure. According to the Association of German Carriers (VDV), around 30 million ticket users can be expected for €9 per month. But this is only an estimate. Politicians and industry are counting on the fact that the incredible campaign will now make a lot of people really think about when and how buses and trains actually run in the area.

It is also uncertain how concurrent subsidies at gas stations will affect drivers’ willingness to switch. Because also from June 1 to August 31, according to the alliance’s plans, the energy tax will be reduced to the minimum set by EU law. The tax rate on gasoline will be reduced by 30 cents and on diesel by 14 cents.

Will more or longer trains run from June 1st?

The industry wants to put everything that rolls on rails and roads. Additional cars and drivers cannot be ordered on a large scale in one fell swoop and for a limited period of three months. The Federation of Carriers explained that the reserves will be activated, “but they are not widely available.” According to the Works Council, the railroad is running an additional 40 to 50 double-decker carriages, and there aren’t many of them. More effort is likely to appear, for example, with cleaning and servicing.

Why is the ticket not immediately free?

This proposal has already been made by the federal states. One argument was that simply doing without tickets – and thus also the controls – would have greatly reduced the effort. One reason to ask for a small amount of money now is to look beyond the end of the campaign. The usage of paying customers can be better analyzed. Planned surveys. Who uses buses and trains on which routes when they are much cheaper? This is an interesting question for carriers and politicians – even if its price is unlikely to remain at 9 euros per month. dpa

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