The bus and train providers are insisting on secure financing for the future 49-euro ticket for nationwide local transport, even beyond the start-up phase. According to a statement by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) for a hearing in the Bundestag, "plannable and permanent financing" is necessary, without which such a ticket cannot be offered.
The federal government initially wants to provide 1.5 billion euros each from 2023 to 2025 to compensate for half of the loss of income from transport providers. The other half should take over the countries.
Association: Compensate for reduced income
The Federal Association of German Bus Companies explained: "The low price of the offer ensures that it will become the dominant fare product. Not many season tickets will be able to exist alongside the Deutschlandticket." In many cases it should be worth booking it instead of two single tickets for a return trip over medium distances. For the companies, however, a cornerstone of financing, ticket income, is weakened. "It is correspondingly important with the Deutschlandticket to proceed carefully to ensure that this loss of revenue is compensated for by the companies," says the statement.
The nationwide public transport ticket is scheduled to start on May 1st. It should cost 49 euros a month, which is expressly referred to as the "introductory price" - later increases are therefore possible. A digitally bookable, monthly terminable subscription is planned. The offer should build on the popular 9-euro ticket from last summer. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing has introduced a bill on financing to the Bundestag. The Transport Committee will deal with this in an expert hearing on Wednesday.
debate about the price
The price is also discussed. The VDV pointed out that the ticket, even at the introductory price, would "permanently lead to a considerable annual loss of income, even when the situation has stabilized". Under no circumstances should the price be permanently "frozen" or "even reduced due to short-term political opportunities" in view of the further increase in personnel and energy costs. A mechanism recommended by the competent committees of the Federal Council would therefore be welcome: "The price is fixed annually in coordination with the federal and state governments."
For the bus companies, their association pointed to uncertainties if the planned ticket had to be canceled monthly and thus become a “de facto monthly ticket”. A simple terminability without financial advantages, to commit to a long-term commitment, does not lead to any significant advantages in taking out a real subscription. "Hardly anyone will use the Deutschlandticket every month in such a way that the 49-euro ticket price is "taken away"," says the statement. Economically minded customers only buy it if it makes sense. This brings advantages for passengers, but the companies lack planning security and bureaucratic effort for subscription management.
The Hamburger Verkehrsverbund welcomed the agreement on a nationwide standardized job ticket model. Due to the shortage of skilled workers, employers are very interested in making employees a discounted mobility offer. With the agreed conditions, employees could get the ticket for 34.30 euros. This attractive price leads to significantly more subscriptions, more customers in the system and thus to additional revenue for local public transport.