9-euro ticket triggers new trouble – politics

The promise of the federal government was full-bodied: The so-called 9-euro ticket should start on June 1st. For this amount, as leaked out shortly before Easter, Germans would be able to use local public transport in June, July and August. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has long seen the project on course. On Tuesday, Wissing said about the approaching start date: “I think that’s realistic.” The legislative process is expected to begin later this month.

But according to information from Süddeutsche Zeitung Anger about planning deficits in the billion-euro project is growing in some state governments. “Anyone who announces must also deliver,” demands Bavaria’s Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter (CSU). Many questions are still open.

“Should the ‘9 for 90 ticket’ apply nationwide or only regionally? Does the federal government stand by its announcement that it will bear the full costs if, for example, more buses or trains have to be used?” Asks Bernreiter and calls for quick decisions by the federal government not to endanger the start: “The transport companies, the municipalities, the states and the passengers are urgently waiting for answers. Otherwise it will be difficult with the start of the ticket on June 1st.”

In addition to the question of whether the tickets should now be valid throughout the country or only in certain regions, insiders say that there are other important details that would influence the necessary offer from the transport company. For example, whether the tickets would be issued in a personalized way or whether they were transferrable. And whether passengers are allowed to take bicycles or not.

Are transport companies left with extra costs?

There was also a great deal of ambiguity with regard to financing. The federal government had announced that it would assume the costs – but only up to the maximum limit of up to 2.5 billion euros. In some countries there are growing concerns that additional buses and trains will have to be provided. It is completely open whether the federal government will also take on such additional costs, says an insider. Otherwise, the transport associations, which were already financially weakened due to the consequences of the corona virus, were at risk of being left with the costs.

The Baden-Württemberg Transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Greens) recently warned: “The federal states and their associations will do everything possible to implement the 9-euro ticket despite all the difficulties. However, it must be avoided at all costs that after the 90 days 9- Euro-Ticket will then shoot up the tariffs.”

Now, according to information from government circles, a working group is to work on a solution to the disputed issues this Thursday. Because the planners are running out of time. The Bundestag and Bundesrat should agree to the necessary legal changes on May 19th and 20th so that the ticket campaign can start.

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