Local and regional transport: Transport ministers agree on price for Germany ticket

Millions of commuters and travelers can count on a stable price for the Deutschlandticket for nationwide journeys on local and regional public transport this year.

Local and regional transport: Transport ministers agree on price for Germany ticket

Millions of commuters and travelers can count on a stable price for the Deutschlandticket for nationwide journeys on local and regional public transport this year. "The Conference of Transport Ministers has created clarity for 2024: Even if there is public discussion about price increases from May, the introductory price of 49 euros will remain stable for the entire year," said the chairman of the Conference of Transport Ministers, North Rhine-Westphalia's department head Oliver Krischer (Greens), who German press agency after consultations with the state ministers.

Lower Saxony's Transport Minister Olaf Lies emphasized that "we as states agree that we do not need a price increase for the Deutschlandticket this year." Based on the available data, no price increase will be necessary in 2024 because the financing is adequate, said the SPD politician. “So the price can remain stable this year too.” This is a signal of reliability for users. “This also brings the necessary clarity for transport companies and municipalities.” According to Lies, the states have agreed to work with the federal government on solutions that ensure flexible financing beyond the annual limit.

The Deutschlandticket was introduced on May 1, 2023 for nationwide travel on local and regional transport as a digitally bookable, monthly-cancellable subscription. According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), it is used by around ten million people. It usually costs 49 euros per month.

Krischer said the Deutschlandticket is already a successful model: millions of people use it every day. It relieves commuters and makes an important contribution to the mobility transition, social participation and climate protection. “Our goal must therefore be to secure the ticket permanently and sustainably financially – in the interest of the customers, but also of the many transport companies,” said Krischer. You need clarity and planning security. The Prime Minister's Conference has given an order for this.

In November, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Prime Ministers agreed on further steps to finance the Deutschlandticket. Ultimately, transport companies lose important income due to the cheaper subscription. As previously agreed, the federal government will also contribute half of the costs in 2024 and give 1.5 billion euros. In addition, unused funds should be used for 2024. The Federal Ministry of Transport announced on Monday before the special conference of state ministers that the transferability of remaining funds from the Germany ticket from 2023 will be maintained.

Environmental organizations and consumer advocates had warned of higher prices. Interest in the Germany ticket could decline significantly. The environmental organization BUND argued that discussions about price increases created uncertainty and inhibited people's willingness to permanently change their mobility behavior. “The legal climate requirements in transport can only be met with a good environmental network offering of walking, cycling and public transport,” said BUND expert Jens Hilgenberg.

The local transport industry had shown itself open to a possible price increase and called for longer-term planning security. The VDV pointed to the growing financial requirements due to higher personnel, energy and operating costs in local public transport. The industry's primary goal remains to convince as many people as possible of the ticket. It is therefore important that public discussions about the continuation of the ticket end.

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