After the great success of the German program, under which tourists could buy tickets within the country for a fixed price of 9 euros (about 550 rubles at the current exchange rate, details here), now the regions of Germany have agreed on plans to introduce a new ticket costing 49 euros (about 3,000 rubles), which will be valid both on public and regional transport throughout the country. Interregional travel cards will be introduced by January 1, 2023. Details below.
This has never happened before in the history of public transport in Germany: at the beginning of summer, the authorities decided to massively support the tourism sector, public transport and tourists – for this they allocated unprecedented amounts. In autumn, the program changed, but still remained profitable for tourists.
According to Schengenvisainfo, the new tickets will be available as a monthly subscription. Other details have not yet been released by the authorities. According to I Am Expat, state transport ministers have said that tickets will be sold digitally, essentially a travel pass that anyone can purchase. You can unsubscribe at any time.
According to Volker Wissing, who is federal government minister of transport under Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the new program will “remove obstacles” in the system, as tickets can be used outside the regions. Moreover, he stressed that the new pass will be as easy to use as a €9 ticket. In other words, tourists will be able to travel in all directions and make any number of transfers.
Despite the fact that the country has decided to switch to the new scheme, the authorities have not given a start date, as the country still needs to deal with pressing financial issues. However, it is already known that Germany is ready to allocate 1.5 billion euros from the budget for this scheme, provided that the regions contribute a similar amount.
Before plans for the new scheme were agreed, the government said it planned to introduce inter-regional passes by January 1, 2023. In addition, the same message stated that the ticket would initially be valid for two years.
It is believed that the successor to the ticket program, costing 9 euros (about 550 rubles), will be as successful as the last one. Recall that the subscription period, when you could buy a monthly pass for only 9 euros in Germany, expired on August 30. Summing up the results, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported that the number of tourists who chose rail transport during the scheme has increased significantly and exceeded the level of pre-Covid 2019. The conclusions are expected: locals and tourists appreciated the program. For comparison: for the cheapest travel card in the summer in the Bavarian capital of Munich, passengers paid 57 euros (about 3,500 rubles), and for the most expensive one in Hamburg, 112.80 euros (almost 6,900 rubles). In other words, the three-month pass cost them less than the out-of-program monthly pass.
Destatis showed that rail travel has increased, especially in rural areas with high levels of tourism. Rail travel of 30 kilometers or more has exceeded pre-pandemic levels. In July 2022 alone, there were on average 42% more trips by rail than in the same month in 2019.
In addition to the above, during the summer months during which the scheme was in operation, the country also a large number of nights spent by tourists were recorded, i.e. they were not satisfied with one-day trips, but stayed overnight in one or another hotel in the German region.
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