Every year: Deutsche Bahn raises the prices for long-distance train journeys for Christmas. The Bahncards 25, 50 and 100 are also becoming more expensive, as the group announced on Wednesday. The Supervisory Board was informed of the changes beforehand. According to this, the train will increase the so-called flex prices by an average of almost seven percent from December 11th.
The prices for the three Bahncard subscriptions, with which passengers get a 25, 50 or 100 percent discount per journey, increase by 4.9 percent. According to Bahn, the saver and super saver prices remain unchanged, of which a certain contingent is always available from 21.90 euros or 17.90 euros per journey. The train also announced that the reservation costs for seats remained the same.
As a reason for the higher prices, the group refers to the significantly increased energy costs, which also caused problems for the train. "Like many other companies, DB is forced to react to the massive price increases by adjusting prices," it said. "For regional transport, the German tariff association had already announced an average price adjustment of 4 percent at the beginning of September." The group emphasized that the new adjustments would keep it below the current inflation rate.
According to Bahn, the new timetable, which applies from December 11th, can be booked from October 12th. Up to and including December 10, the new offers can still be booked at the old price.
Karl-Peter Naumann, honorary chairman of the pro Bahn passenger association, expressed his understanding of the measure on Wednesday. "No passenger association is enthusiastic when prices rise," he told the German Press Agency. "On the other hand, we just have to see that there are actually significant increases in energy costs."
However, Naumann criticized the fact that the price increases mainly affected offers used by frequent drivers. "Once again, the biggest price increases are expected of the most loyal customers," he said. "Here we finally have to think about the frequent travelers. They are not the cash cow of the train drivers." However, the federal government is responsible for relieving the financial burden on consumers.
The left-wing member of the Bundestag Dietmar Bartsch called on Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) to stop the announced increases. "In view of the loss of control over inflation, prices on which the federal government has a significant influence must not continue to rise and put an additional burden on citizens," he said.
Long-distance fares generally fluctuate greatly, depending on the demand for a particular train. With higher prices at peak times and lower ones at off-peak times, the group says it wants to better control the utilization of the trains.
With the now increased flex price, passengers can usually board the train on a specific day at any departure time. The cheaper saver and super saver prices go hand in hand with a train connection.
The higher fares in long-distance transport were not the only topic on the supervisory board on Wednesday: the committee also elected Secretary of State for Finance Werner Gatzer as the new chairman. The 63-year-old lawyer succeeds Michael Odenwald, who resigned from office at the end of July. According to DB, Gatzer has been State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance since 2005 and has been a member of the DB control committee since 2020.
The head of the railway and transport union (EVG), Klaus-Dieter Hommel, had headed the supervisory board as deputy chairman since Odenwald left. Hommel was dismissed from the committee on Wednesday.
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