The 49-euro ticket could still fail regionally. The largest NRW transport association is threatening a boycott if there is not enough money. He thinks an NRW subscription is possible.
Cologne – After the agreement of the transport ministers’ conference, the 49-euro ticket seemed a done deal. But the most important point of the possible successor to the 9-euro ticket is still unclear: the financing. The federal and state governments have been arguing about this very question for weeks. This is also causing increasing concern among the transport associations, which ultimately have to introduce the subscription. Depending on the initial situation, the Rhein-Ruhr transport association (VRR) is now threatening not to implement the 49-euro ticket.
No 49-euro ticket in NRW? VRR threatens a boycott if there is not enough money – VRS agrees
Although both politicians and transport associations are all in favor of a nationwide public transport ticket, the 49-euro ticket is anything but secure. Because the federal states want more money from the federal government in order to be able to co-finance the public transport subscription at all. The VRR also clearly supports this demand and threatens to block the 49-euro ticket in case of doubt. “Unless there is sufficient funding, I can’t actually propose to my committees to approve such a concept,” says VRR board member Jose Luis Castrillo of the Rheinische Post .
The neighboring Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS) agrees with the VRR assessment. “Without appropriate subsidies, such a ticket would be unthinkable for us,” says a spokesman for the RP . Together, the two transport associations cover the majority of the population of North Rhine-Westphalia. Without their consent, the 49-euro ticket could probably not be introduced in NRW.
According to its own statements, the VRR alone is missing around 520 million euros, reports wa.de. On the one hand to compensate for the deficits caused by the 9-euro ticket successor and on the other hand the consequences of the corona pandemic. In terms of passenger numbers, the VRR is not only the largest transport association in NRW and Germany, but according to its own statements one of the largest in the whole of Europe.
49-euro ticket: VRR open to cheaper NRW subscription
The VRR also explained to the RP that in addition to the nationwide 49-euro ticket, there could also be a regional NRW subscription. “Such an idea would be obvious, also because we are such a large federal state,” says Castrillo. NRW Minister of Transport Oliver Krischer had previously stated several times that an “NRW ticket” at a price of 29 euros per month was still conceivable for him. The Greens had called for such cheaper regional tickets in summer 2022 in addition to the nationwide public transport subscription.
A subscription campaign based on the 9-euro ticket is already running in NRW, which partially retains the uniform tariff systems. If you have a public transport subscription, you can use regional and local transport throughout NRW free of charge until the end of 2022 – but not on every day.
49-euro ticket: when will it be available? Where does it apply? The current status at a glance
► What’s next? The federal and state governments have agreed on the 49-euro ticket. As part of the third relief package, the new nationwide public transport ticket must also be officially approved by the Bundestag and confirmed by the Bundesrat.
► What problems are there? Because of the financing, the 49-euro ticket is not yet in the towel. At the meeting of transport ministers on October 13, the federal states said they were ready to spend the money. But they would need more money from the state for buses and trains. After all, the ticket is useless if there are not enough vehicles. Financing is now to be clarified at the next Prime Ministers’ Conference (MPK) from October 19 to 21, 2022.
► When should the 49-euro ticket come? The target is January 1, 2023.
► Where and how should the 49-euro ticket be valid? Maintaining the nationwide uniform fare system is one of the main concerns of the 49-euro ticket. Just like the 9-euro ticket, the new subscription should be valid for local public transport throughout Germany. With the ticket you will be able to use all local and regional buses and trains (tram/underground, S-Bahn, regional trains) throughout Germany. This also applies to the regional traffic of Deutsche Bahn.
► Who finances the new nationwide ticket? Federal and state governments, however, the exact amount and distribution of the costs is still open. The federal states have requested further support for the maintenance and expansion of public transport. Federal Transport Minister Wissing said that they were not yet close enough to clarify this without the finance minister and the prime minister.
As of October 19, 2022