Consumer advocates: Easy access to the 49-euro ticket demanded

Status: 11/25/2022 12:07 p.m

Consumer advocates formulate clear ideas regarding the design of the 49-euro ticket. According to a survey, there is still a need for action when it comes to connecting to public transport.

Consumer advocates and passenger representatives are calling on transport associations to get more involved in the preparations for the planned nationwide ticket for local public transport. The design of public transport in the sense of the traffic turnaround is a task for society as a whole, said the chairwoman of the Federal Consumer Association (vzbv), Ramona Pop, of the dpa news agency. This means that the needs of consumers must be taken more into account when expanding the range. “We are calling for a round table for this,” says Pop.

Ticket purchase as easy as possible and barrier-free

The vzbv, the Pro Bahn passenger association and the Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD) demanded that youth, senior citizens and disabled people’s associations should be involved in the preparations. Because the interests of consumers should not be neglected. Among other things, the future “Germany ticket” must be easy to buy for everyone.

“The best ticket is of no use if it is made difficult for people to buy one,” said VCD chairwoman Kerstin Haarmann. Access should therefore be as easy as possible: with just a few clicks to the online ticket and a simple booking at the machine or at the counter. The Federal Government Commissioner for the interests of people with disabilities, Jürgen Dusel, told the “Bild” newspaper that it was important for the online forms to be barrier-free.

“In addition, these subscriptions should not only be able to be taken out online, but also at the ticket counter or in the customer centers,” says Dusel. This is important for all people who, for various reasons, do not have access to the Internet. In addition, the carriage of bicycles, children, other people and dogs must be clarified quickly, emphasized the chairman of Pro-Bahn, Detlef Neuß.

Start date of the 49-euro ticket still open

The nationwide usable ticket for buses and trains in local transport at the introductory price of 49 euros per month should come in the new year and build on the popular 9-euro tickets of the summer. The federal and state governments are planning a digitally bookable offer. However, many modalities still have to be clarified – such as the start date and the places where the card can be bought.

The German Association of Cities therefore does not expect the 49-euro ticket to be introduced in the near future. “The capped funds for the ticket are not enough to start it nationwide and to compensate for the loss of income from the transport companies,” said the managing director Helmut Dedy to the “Rheinische Post”. The federal and state governments would now have to agree “that they should bear the real ticket costs. “If the pot of three billion euros a year is gone, they have to make more,” Dedy demanded.

One in three does not feel well connected

The planned introduction of the 49-euro ticket also raises the question of the public transport infrastructure. According to a survey by the opinion research institute Kantar, 30 percent of people in Germany currently do not feel well connected by bus and train where they live. The main thing that bothers them is the timing: 35 percent of those surveyed are dissatisfied with the number of departures at the next stop.

“Here we have identified an important transport policy lever, as the federal and state governments can improve the offer for people directly within the framework of the existing infrastructure,” said Dirk Flege, Managing Director of the Pro-Rail Alliance. The interest group had commissioned the survey together with BUND and the German Road Safety Council.

“Offer offensive in public transport”

The vast majority of respondents (85 percent) are satisfied with the distance to the next stop. 64 percent of those surveyed stated that the number of departures at the next stop had not changed in the last five years, 14 percent spoke of a deterioration in the service.

“For the mobility turnaround to be successful, there is an urgent need for an offer offensive in local public transport,” said the managing director at BUND, Antje von Broock. “Increasing foot, bicycle and public transport means taking the climate goals seriously.”

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