VDV announces predicted price increase for Deutschlandticket
There was a solid reason why transport ministers pushed to dub it the “Deutschlandticket” rather than the “49-euro ticket”. Now, thanks to a paper published by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) there is a prognosis for how much the ticket is likely to go up in price in 2024.
49-euro ticket could cost 59 euros in 2024
Since before the 49-euro ticket was released on May 1, 2023, Germany’s state and federal governments have been arguing about how the ticket can be funded in the long term.
Now, a financial prognosis published by the VDV has suggested that Germany needs 1,9 billion euros in “additional funding” (Zusatzkosten) for next year's budget in order to keep the ticket scheme running in 2024.
To fund the missing budget, the VDV has suggested that the cost of the ticket, which grants holders unlimited access to local and regional public transport across the whole of Germany, be increased from 49 euros to 59 euros per month.
Transport associations have also been urged to increase the number of subscription holders. While the initial sales period of the ticket was a success, according to a recent nationwide survey by the VDV, 10 percent of people who had a 49-euro ticket have now cancelled their subscriptions.
Who will cough up the additional Deutschlandticket funding?
As it stands, state governments and Germany’s federal government each contribute 1,5 billion euros to subsidise the ticket, splitting the cost 50-50. But this 3 billion does not cover all the costs - and an unwelcome announcement at the beginning of September from Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing revealed that Berlin was going to jump ship, leaving state governments to carry the Zusatzkosten burden alone.
Without a “sufficient budget granted or an additional funding obligation” - meaning a final decision on whether it is the responsibility of the state or federal government to cough up the Zusatzkosten - the ticket scheme is at risk of being cancelled, the VDV wrote in its paper.
While Wissing sees public and regional transport as the domain of state governments, many ministers for transportation at the state level feel abandoned, since the Deutschlandticket was a policy introduced by the federal government.
By spring 2024, when the ticket has been on sale for one year, transport associations hope to have a better idea of how the additional funding could be secured. At the moment, passengers who once paid more for specific subscriptions but have now chosen to move to the Deutschlandticket are causing noticeable revenue shortfalls across the country.
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