Germany: Transport ministers dispute funding for 9 euro ticket

The federal government wants to compensate for high inflation with a cheap public transport ticket. But there has recently been a dispute over who would be responsible for this venture. Consumer advocates would most like to postpone the project.

Need more money from the government

In Bremen, transport ministers of the states and the federal government are negotiating over the planned €9 monthly ticket and its financing. The states want more money from the government.

So far, the federal government has promised to give the states €2.5 billion because of the loss of revenue due to the introduction of the low-cost ticket and €1.2 billion for losses related to the coronavirus.

However, the states want the federal government to significantly increase funding for regionalization – this is the money that the federal government makes available to the states each year to fund local rail passenger services.

The nine-euro monthly ticket scheduled from the beginning of June to the end of August means that there is a risk of large losses. For just nine euros a month, citizens are to be able to travel across the country on local and regional transport. There is also concern among representatives of Deutsche Bahn employees. The holiday regions, on the other hand, are worried about the onslaught of tourists that they will not be able to cope with.

Recommending a later period for the introduction of the low-cost ticket

In contrast, the Federal Association of Consumer Headquarters (vzbv) would like to see the ticket introduced at a different time. “It would be disastrous” if the cheap ticket ceased in October and the start of the embargo at the same time raised prices, mobility expert Marion Jungbluth said on Wednesday, given the EU’s planned boycott of oil from Russia. If prices rise as a result, the federal government must be able to take effective countermeasures.

The aim of the federal government’s rebate campaign is to encourage people to travel by bus and train on the cheap – and thus compensate for the sharp rise in consumer prices. Gasoline and diesel in particular have become very expensive in recent months. In this connection, a fuel discount is also planned – according to vzbv, this project too should be postponed until the end of the year due to boycott plans. At the same time, the federal government must critically monitor price changes at gas stations and intervene if oil companies and refineries would like to get rich during the crisis.

The transport ministers of the federal government and the state governments, including Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and Bremen Transport Senator Maike Schaefer (Greens), as chairman of the Conference of Transport Ministers, want to present the results of their deliberations at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Source: www.spiegel.de

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