BERLIN (AP) — Transit companies in Germany say more than 3 million people have already purchased a new ticket launched Monday that allows them to use all local and regional trains, buses and subways across the country to 49 euros ($53.90) per month.
The new Germany ticket is intended to encourage people to ditch their cars in favor of more environmentally friendly means of transport. It follows a experimental ticket “all you can ride” at 9 euros which turned out to be a success last year, but which officials said was not financially viable.
The new ticket is seen as a revolution in Germany’s fractured public transport system, where dozens of regional companies offered a myriad of different fare options that baffled many travellers.
The Germany ticket will be valid for almost all forms of public transport with the exception of long-distance intercity trains. Travel across the country will still be possible using regional trains, which will significantly reduce costs for some people who previously paid hundreds of euros a month for regular travel.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz hailed the new ticket as “a simple, cheap offer that will make public transport more attractive and help us achieve our climate goals”.
Anti-poverty campaigners have called for tickets, which are already subsidized, to be made even cheaper, at least for families, young people and people on low incomes, for whom this is still an expensive option.