Germany’s €9 Rail Fares End. “Our Best Idea Yet” Says Chancellor Scholz
For three months this summer German travellers have enjoyed unlimited journeys on trains, buses, and trams for just €9 per month. The experimental program expired at midnight on 31st August 2022.
Approximately 52 million tickets were sold, with a cost of about €2.5billion paid by the Federal Government in subsidies to regional governments.
According to De Statis, the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, there were 42% more journeys over 30km in distance taken in July 2022 compared to July 2019.
Further statistics by the Association for German Transport Companies (VDV) estimate that approximately 17% of the users were those who switched to public transportation from other modes such as cars, bicycles etc. in August. 27% were those who use public transportation less than once per month.
Interviews were carried out among 6,000 passengers per week for 13 weeks, with around 78,000 respondents from all around the country.
Cost of living crisis at the heart of the scheme
Fuel duty was lowered in Germany for three months to help alleviate the financial burden of the cost of living. It was agreed that public transport fares would also be lowered to help its habitual users too. Both schemes came to an end starting midnight 1st September.
The €9 price tag came out as the most significant factor among travellers, but with 88% rate of satisfaction, the scheme is hailed a resounding success across the board. Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, has called the scheme “our best idea yet”, though Finance Minister Christian Lindner has ruled out extending it.