The nine-euro ticket was certainly not an advertising block for Deutsche Bahn. There were no train personnel at any of the carriage ends, so there were no regular ticket checks – in some places even entire trains. The lanes were packed, at the height of the summer celebrations the metronome chugged back and forth between Bremen and Hamburg, sometimes at 200 percent capacity. And the mood of the already sparse staff left a lot to be desired. Without a mask, you could have seen the hanging corners of the employees' mouths.
With the crowds squeezing onto the trains every day, silently enduring reminders to wear masks, only to tuck the rag back under their chins at the next best moment, it's hardly surprising. In addition, there were unruly passengers who regularly had to be warned to step out of the doors so that the trains could even start moving. As a commuter you experience a lot anyway – in the days of the nine-euro ticket even more.
And yet I thought this action was great. In the last three months I haven't gone to the publishing house as often as I have in the whole of last year. And that wasn't just because we've been able to sit in the open-plan office again since June without upper limits and rules on distance. I also used the nine-euro ticket twice to go to the North Sea – like thousands of other Germans. Climate protection was not my top priority. The finances actually motivated me. Christian Lindner would therefore probably assign me to those free riders with a "gratis mentality".
As a journalist, you are not among the poorest in society when it comes to salary. If there is a cheap successor model for the nine-euro ticket, then it doesn't have to stay at nine euros. A 365-euro or 49-euro ticket (per month) would be profitable alternatives - after all, the railway employees want to be paid and as a railway customer one would like a little more comfort than was the case in the last three months.
An example: If I drove to work two to three times a week, it would cost me between 200 and 300 euros per month. Depending on the size, this roughly corresponds to the monthly additional costs of a single household. It's not about getting something for free. It's about support that is urgently needed in many places - and that the state has to afford for the taxpayers.
But the nine-euro ticket wasn't just cheap. It also made driving easier. Dealing with the transport tariffs of cities is no fun. Munich, Hamburg or Berlin are probably the best examples of this. Depending on which zone or ring you want to go to, there are different price categories (some of which cost as much as the nine-euro ticket). That made rail travel complicated. With the nationwide nine-euro ticket, at least that has become much easier.
And before you object: Sure, with the Lower Saxony ticket you can use all means of transport in Hamburg and Bremen to your heart's content. But that costs.
The state can do something to accommodate the taxpayers before the money trickles away into tax scandals. Especially now that citizens need support because of rising costs. And the traffic light could push their poll numbers back up a bit. Something could definitely be done with a cheap alternative to the nine-euro ticket.