Traffic: Expert: Germany ticket is already too expensive

In view of the discussions about the Deutschlandticket, a mobility expert has warned of a price increase.

Traffic: Expert: Germany ticket is already too expensive

In view of the discussions about the Deutschlandticket, a mobility expert has warned of a price increase.

"According to our calculations, around 10 million people are currently using the Deutschlandticket. If the price rises to 59 euros, perhaps six to seven million would remain," said Andreas Knie from the Science Center for Social Research in Berlin to the German Press Agency. "The ticket should actually cost 29 euros, then you would have a lot more people on the trains." He is “dismayed” by the current political developments.

Financing is not regulated in all respects

The federal and state governments agreed on Monday that the Deutschlandticket will also be available next year - but financing is still not regulated in all respects. The transport ministers of the federal states were called upon to develop a concept for the future of the Deutschlandticket beyond May 1, 2024 - including a possible price increase.

Scientist Knie criticized the fact that the ticket was already a ticket for people with higher incomes. He assumes that only 400,000 to 500,000 people who previously had no public transport ticket will now use buses and trains with the Deutschlandticket. Above all, people who live in the suburbs of large cities and who, before the Deutschlandticket, sometimes had to spend three-digit amounts on a monthly ticket to work, benefited from the 49-euro offer.

Save on transport associations

In order to be able to offer the Germany ticket more cheaply, the transport associations should save on bureaucracy - there is a lot of potential here. “You could save money, but the transport associations are having a hard time,” said Knie. There are more than 60 transport associations in Germany.

In some regions, this fragmentation has led to complicated tariff structures in the past, which the Deutschlandticket should make history. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has recently spoken out several times in favor of reducing the number of transport associations in order to achieve more efficient structures and save money on administrative tasks.

Experts agree with the minister

“Wissing is right, there are already very bloated structures in the transport associations and authorities,” says Berlin transport researcher Christian Böttger. The lack of agreement at the Prime Minister's Conference is ultimately a savings mandate to the states. However, local public transport is one of the few areas in which state and local politicians still have their own scope for decision-making - and this is now being defended. “It’s also about local jobs that would be eliminated if, for example, there were a nationwide ticket system,” said Böttger.

The traffic researcher sees a possible reason for the severity of the conflict between the federal and state governments: "Many federal states and associations have supplemented the Deutschlandticket with their own special offers, and an unknown number even receive the ticket free of charge from their employer," says Böttger. When it was introduced, a cost sharing agreement was agreed between the federal and state governments. “Now the states want more money from the federal government than originally agreed - it is conceivable that this has angered the federal government.”