The Deutschlandticket contributed to an increase in passenger numbers on buses and trains in the first half of 2023. However, fewer people still use regular services than before the pandemic.
More people are taking buses and trains: In the first half of 2023, the number of passengers in local public transport increased by ten percent compared to the same period last year, thanks in part to the Deutschlandsticket. This means that around 5.3 billion passengers used local public transport (ÖPNV) in the first six months, as the Federal Statistical Office announced today.
For railways (including S-Bahn) there was an increase of 14 percent to more than 1.2 billion. Trams also recorded an increase of 14 percent to 1.8 billion passengers. Local bus transport increased by seven percent to almost 2.5 billion passengers. However, the actual increase may not be fully reflected, as only a few buses have automated passenger counting systems that provide particularly reliable information, according to the Federal Office.
Pre-crisis level not reached
In the first half of 2022, the new 9 euro ticket in force at the time had already driven up passenger numbers. However, the ticket was only valid from June 1, 2022.
Despite the increase in the first six months of this year, according to the Federal Statistical Office, there were still 13 percent fewer passengers on regular bus and train services than before the corona pandemic in the first half of 2019.
Strong growth in long-distance transport
This year, the number of passengers rose particularly sharply in long-distance scheduled services, which fell the most during the Corona crisis. A total of 72 million passengers, 16 percent more than in the same period last year, traveled on long-distance trains.
In long-distance bus transport there was an increase of 89 percent to 4.8 million passengers. Overall, according to the statisticians, there were eleven percent fewer people traveling on long-distance scheduled services than before the pandemic.
transport companies revenues are lost
Because many passengers are switching from other tickets to the Deutschlandticket, the transport companies recently sounded the alarm about loss of revenue. According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), the subsidy requirement for the ticket in 2024 will be over one billion euros higher than this year.
It is unclear who will pay for this. The Germany ticket may therefore have to become more expensive, according to the VDV.