German government approves a €49 monthly travel pass

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 21 Nov 2022

The German federal government and the 16 German states have agreed to introduce a new €49 monthly public transport ticket. The new monthly pass is expected to start on 1 January 2023. The ticket will give the holder unlimited access, nationwide, to regional trains, metros and buses. The new scheme is expected to cost €3 billion, which will be covered by the federal government and the states in equal shares.

The new monthly ticket is a follow-up of the popular €9 travel pass that was in effect over the summer of 2022 as an initiative to reduce car traffic and support Germany’s efforts to become carbon-neutral in 2045. The evaluation of that trial is already available and shows that the main impact of the €9 travel pass was to increase rail travel massively (a 42% increase in June 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019). However, it only reduced road traffic to a limited extent.

The Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) claims that the €9 pass saved 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, as a result of commuters switching from car use to public transport. As an example of the impact, VDV noted that in the greater Munich area, about 3% of commuters switched from their car to public transport. A large part of the massive increase in public transport use has been attributed to people undertaking leisure trips using public transport, which they would not otherwise have taken without the ticket.

The expectations are that the new €49 ticket is the beginning of a massive reform of public transport in Germany.

Photo Credit: Tobias Arhelger © / - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

Article published first at CitiesToday on 7 November 2022.

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