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Germany’s €49 Ticket: A Threat to Student Semestertickets?

Germany’s €49 Ticket: A Threat to Student Semestertickets?

The extensive public transportation network in Germany has long been a practical and economical means of transit for its citizens. Several ticket choices offered to students have proven to be popular alternatives, but student semestertickets, which enable unlimited travel within predetermined areas, have garnered significant popularity. However, a recent development has alarmed both student organizations and academic institutions. The launch of the €49 Ticket, a new, reasonably priced travel pass available to all people, might threaten the exclusivity and benefits of student semestertickets. In this post, we will examine that whether Germany’s €49 ticket is a threat to Student Semesterticket or not.

Influence of Student Semesterticket in Germany and Why does it poses threat

The Semesterticket in Germany has been popular for 30 years, promoting sustainable transportation and reducing student car ownership. It is also credited with decreasing urban air pollution and traffic congestion. However, critics argue that it’s unfair for students who don’t use public transit to pay the same cost, and there are concerns about its expense for financially struggling students.

The cost of the Semesterticket in Germany varies depending on the location. It is cheaper in Schweinfurt (Franconia) at less than €7 per month, while in larger cities like Berlin or Hamburg, it exceeds €30, similar to the “Deutschlandticket Jobticket” for workers. In cities like Cologne, Düsseldorf, or Aachen, it even goes over €35. Considering its nationwide usability and the price difference from the €49 ticket, some argue that the difference in cost is insufficient. Student associations suggest possible legal challenges if local transportation agencies fail to reduce the ticket price for students.

Reasons for Semestertickets to continue

There were many options considered. There were ultimately two choices:
1) By discontinuing the semester ticket, the Deutschlandticket will likely be introduced after 01.04. This will force many students to pay up to 235€ (monthly value mark education tariff) for one (!) month of public transportation.
2) The continuation of the semester ticket under the current terms, which we were able to significantly improve beginning with the winter semester (among them, the basic ticket’s validity beginning at 6 p.m. or on Fridays at 5 p.m. and the option to have the fee suspended during breaks in the semester).

After lengthy discussions, we unanimously decided to retain the summer semester semester ticket, along with Munich student representatives. January 4 introduction seems impossible; January 5 is under consideration. Many students would not have been justified in bearing such steep charges for taking public transportation in these circumstances. Among other things, there are still legal checks that must be made with the EU.

Can students purchase a 49 euro Germany ticket after the semester has begun?

From May to September, the semester ticket offers the best value for the Deutschlandticket. It is less expensive to buy the Deutschlandticket directly for people who only require a public transportation ticket starting in June 2023 (such as an internship).

Will students continue to receive the 49 euro Deutschlandticket?

The VGN guarantees that students holding an additional ticket will automatically receive the Deutschlandticket from the time the Deutschlandticket begins until the conclusion of the summer semester, if the rules of the federal and state governments permit it. Our knowledge indicates that the likelihood of this occurring is very high. This is still unclear (in Munich, for instance).

Do Students receive credit for the difference over the Deutschlandticket?

With basic and supplementary tickets, we pay 49.833€ per month multiplied by five equals 4.17€ more as students. Unfortunately, there is no way to get this money back legally. The DSW’s legal advice raises concerns about the viability of the Semesterticket due to the €49 monthly ticket price. The agreement’s praise for boosting public transportation may have unforeseen repercussions for initiatives like the Semesterticket.
Individual colleges and student organizations will ultimately decide what happens to the Semesterticket. In order to make decisions that are best for their students and their communities, they will need to carefully assess how the €49 monthly ticket package may affect their own programs.

What solutions are proposed?

The VMK set up a working group of officials from federal and state governments to discuss a cheaper €49 ticket for low-income groups. The chief of the Conference of State Transport Ministers stated that they aim to establish a discounted model by the winter semester, despite no tangible results being attained thus far. A national semester ticket that is significantly less expensive than the €49 ticket would be one answer. Previously, this option has been given the name “Deutschlandticket Uni” (Germany Ticket for Universities). Implementing this requires consensus between the federal government, Germany’s 16 states, funding, and criteria for low-income group eligibility.

The introduction of the 49 Euro Ticket in Germany poses challenges for students and institutions, potentially disrupting the current student ticket structure. This new ticket offers accessibility, affordability, and cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive alternative to standard semester tickets. As students weigh their options, the demand for exclusive student semester tickets may decrease. To sustain student semester tickets, universities and transportation companies must adapt and employ strategies to maintain their value amidst competition.

Read more at How To Abroad:

Deutsche Bahn introduced Summer ICE tickets for less than €10

Changes that Happened in Germany in June 2023

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