BERLIN (AP) — Public transit companies in Germany say more than 3 million people have already snapped up a new ticket being launched Monday that allows them to use all local and regional trains, buses and metros across the country for 49 euros ($53.90) a month.
The new Germany Ticket is intended to encourage people to ditch their cars in favor of more environmentally friendly forms of transportation. It follows on from an experimental 9-euro ‘all you can ride’ ticket that proved to be success last year, but which officials said wasn't financially viable.
The new ticket is considered a revolution in Germany’s fractured public transit system where dozens of regional companies offered myriad different fare options that baffled many travelers.
The Germany Ticket will be valid for almost all forms of public transport apart from long-distance intercity trains. Cross-country travel will still be possible using regional trains, significantly reducing costs for some people who used to pay hundreds of euros a month for their regular commutes.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz hailed the new ticket as “an easy and cheap offer that will make public transit more attractive and help us achieve our climate goals.”
Anti-poverty campaigners have called for the tickets, which are already subsidized, to be made even cheaper, at least for families, young people and those on low incomes, for whom it still remains an expensive option.