The Association of Transport Companies (VDV) has called for the introduction of a uniform flat rate for local public transport throughout Germany following the 9-euro ticket. The VDV proposed a tariff of 69 euros per month for regional and city traffic. “That has to be decided quickly, we can’t wait until autumn,” said VDV general manager Oliver Wolff of the “FAZ”.
He received support from the Greens leader Ricarda Lang. “We will discuss the model in the coalition, but one thing is clear: a follow-up regulation is needed, which, as proposed by the Federal Minister of Transport, applies as uniformly as possible nationwide and is cheap, i.e. also social,” Lang told the newspaper.
Politically, such a quick regulation, according to the “FAZ”, represents a major challenge because the financing must first be secured. So far, the consensus has been that the drastic reduction in public transport prices to nine euros a month will expire at the end of August after three months.
It is part of the first relief package with which the German government reacted to the Ukraine war. The ticket seems to be popular with the general public: more than 31 million new users and subscribers benefited from the cheap tariff in June alone.
According to the “FAZ”, the VDV estimates the cost of a 69-euro ticket to be around 2 billion euros a year. They would be below the 2.5 billion euros that the federal government is transferring to the states to compensate for the lost ticket income in the three months of the 9-euro ticket. For financing, Wolff brought up the idea of another special fund, such as that for the German Armed Forces.
In any case, a change in the law during the parliamentary summer break would be necessary for a successor regulation. So far, the plan is for the Bundestag not to meet again until September 6, but MPs may have to meet for a special session anyway.
The Green leader made it clear to the “FAZ” that she does not want to commit to a specific model. Several suggestions are currently circulating, but it seems impossible that the 9-euro ticket will simply be extended. The consumer centers want a ticket for 29 euros a month. “We are faced with the task of having to achieve two goals at the same time,” said Lang. “We want a cheap ticket and at the same time improve the quality of the offer, which means investing in the infrastructure.”
In contrast, the President of the German Association of Cities, Markus Lewe, warned that politicians should not give the impression “that the party just goes on”. He told the “FAZ”: “We are not only experiencing a turning point, but a real break.” He fears that, with energy and personnel costs continuing to rise, a completely different topic will soon dominate: “My concern is that the transport companies will lose their services thin out,” warned Lewe, who is also mayor of Münster.
“Then we were able to enjoy public transport for another three months, but that was it.” He called for the federal government to significantly increase its regionalization funds from currently around ten billion euros over the next few years, so that the offer is not only maintained, but could also be expanded in the longer term.