The sale of the 9-euro ticket is imminent. Between June and August, citizens will then be able to use public transport more cheaply than ever before. But the ticket is not worth it in all cases. We reveal who benefits from the special ticket and who doesn’t.
For only 9 euros a month, bus and train travel nationwide in local transport – this should be possible from June for three months. It is an unprecedented attempt to relieve commuters and convince them to switch to the train. The Bundestag will decide on the financing law this Thursday, and the Bundesrat on Friday.
Proponents see a great opportunity for more climate-friendly transport – critics fear a flash in the pan and warn that overcrowded buses and trains tend to deter potential new users.
But which customers actually benefit from the 9-euro ticket?
Regular public transport customers benefit
It’s definitely worth it for commuters, with a subscription to local public transport, or with a monthly or annual pass. You will only be charged 9 euros for the month or you will receive a refund. Many transport associations hope to win long-term subscription customers with the three cheap start months.
Car commuters can change
In a KfW survey, three-fourths of households that regularly use a car considered it conceivable that they could switch to buses and trains more frequently in winter. Those who have suitable bus and train connections to work, for example in conurbations, large cities and many medium-sized towns, are well served with a change. You save money if you leave your car and drive publicly.
Because the 9-euro ticket costs less than 50 cents per working day. You can hardly get back and forth by car that cheaply, even if the fuel bonus comes as planned. Energy taxes on fuels are to be reduced for three months.
Day trippers must expect crowds
The purchase can be worthwhile for many day and weekend trips, even for some vacation trips in Germany. Newspapers and media websites have long been full of excursion tips that can be used with a 9-euro ticket; Tourists expect large crowds.
At the start and end of long weekends such as Whitsun (June 5th/6th) and Corpus Christi (June 16th), the Pro Bahn passenger association expects chaos on the trains towards the coast and mountains.
Villagers further left behind
The special offer ticket for bus and train is not so worthwhile if buses or even trains rarely stop at your place of residence. This is the case in many villages. According to calculations by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Ioki, at more than every third stop you can’t even drive in one direction or the other once an hour. You can also save fuel and parking fees there with the 9-euro ticket, but you have to be very flexible in terms of time.
Cyclists have to buy an extra ticket
This depends heavily on the day and time of travel. It could sometimes be tight for passengers with bikes on the trains. Because the number of parking spaces is limited. If it gets too crowded, the train staff can decide not to let any more bikes on – even if the owners have already bought an extra ticket for the bike. They need that in most transport associations anyway; because the 9-euro ticket does not include taking it with you.
Families: Children under six travel free
According to Deutsche Bahn, 6 to 14-year-olds need their own 9-euro ticket or another ticket; taking it with you free of charge is excluded with the 9-euro ticket. Children under the age of six generally travel free of charge. If you have a lot of children and only want to go on a one-off trip, you might be better served with a normal ticket; it includes children up to the age of 14 traveling free of charge.
Ticket is not valid on the ICE
The 9-euro ticket is not valid for long-distance transport, i.e. neither in ICE, Intercity and Eurocity nor in the night trains of different providers, nor in Flixtrain or Flixbus.
The DB long-distance ticket also includes the so-called City-Ticket in 130 German cities: free travel to the train station and onward travel to the destination by public transport. The 9-euro ticket is not necessary for this either.