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Germany approves €9 public transport ticket for summer

It's official - people in Germany will get cheap public transport for three months this summer after the €9 ticket was approved.

The €9 ticket on Munich's local transport provider MVG app.
The €9 ticket on Munich's local transport provider MVG app. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

As part of a host of energy relief measures to cushion the cost of living crisis, the German government is offering cheap public transport for the months of June, July and August. 

Monthly tickets will be available at a price of €9 (or €27 for all three months) and they will allow people to use all buses, trains and trams in local and regional transport throughout the country.

So even if people buy the ticket in Munich, they will also be able to use local and regional buses, trains and trams elsewhere in Germany, whether it’s Hamburg or Cologne. 

READ ALSO: How to explore Germany by train with the €9 ticket

The ticket will not be valid, however, on long-distance transport such as ICE trains or Flixbus.

The offer was put together by the coalition government – made of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the FDP.

The Bundestag voted for the initiative on Thursday, agreeing to give federal states a subsidy of €2.5 billion to fund the project. 

And on Friday, the Bundesrat – the upper house of parliament that represents the states – gave the green light to the ticket, paving the way for it to begin on June 1st. 

States had wanted an extra €1.5 billion funding boost to deal with lost revenue, however it would have been hugely controversial if they had blocked it.

READ ALSO: German states threaten to block the €9 ticket in the Bundesrat

During a debate on Thursday, federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) said the €9 project was “already a success”.

“All of Germany is talking about local public transport,” he said, adding that it is also being viewed with interest abroad. 

READ ALSO: ‘Fantastic’: Your verdict on Germany’s €9 ticket

The Left party (Die Linke) voted in favour of the €9 ticket, but leader Bernd Riexinger said he thought the plan didn’t go far enough. “Three months is simply too little,” he said.

The opposition, however, slammed the move. Christian Democrat Michael Donth called it an “expensive experiment”.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn will offer the ticket for sale as early as Monday. Local public transport providers across the country are also preparing their ticket machines for the initiative. It will also be available in travel centres.

People with subscriptions to local transport will automatically benefit from the offer. 

In some regions, such as Stuttgart and Freiburg, the ticket is already available for purchase.

READ ALSO: How to get a hold of the €9 ticket in Berlin

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TRAVEL NEWS

Germany to ‘recruit workers from abroad’ to ease airport chaos

Long queues, luggage issues and cancelled flights - for weeks there have been scenes like this at German airports mainly due to staff shortages. Now the government wants to step in and allow the recruitment of temporary workers from abroad.

Germany to 'recruit workers from abroad' to ease airport chaos

Passengers flying from airports in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) were the latest to face chaotic scenes at the weekend after schools in the state became the first in Germany to end for the summer holiday on June 24th.

Travellers at Düsseldorf airport in particular faced major problems, with some people having to queue for hours to get through security. There were also major issues with people getting their baggage due to a technical problem. 

Meanwhile, nine flights were cancelled by midday on Saturday at Düsseldorf – eight of them by Eurowings and Lufthansa – adding more misery to passengers.

There were also reportedly waits of 60 to 90 minutes to get through security at Cologne/Bonn airport at the weekend.

It comes after airports were overwhelmed during the Whitsun long weekend at the beginning of June. 

Many of the issues are linked to companies letting go of staff, or employees leaving, when Covid restrictions meant travel was much more difficult.

With the increase of Covid infections again, there are also more people on sick leave at the moment. A lack of workers combined with a surge in demand for travel after Covid rules were lifted has resulted in issues in travel across Europe. 

READ ALSO: ‘Arrive three hours early’: Your tips for flying in Germany this summer

Now the German government wants to step in to address staff shortages by looking to recruit from abroad. 

“The Federal Government is planning to allow urgently needed personnel from abroad to enter Germany for temporary work,” Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) told newspaper Bild am Sonntag at the weekend.

Heil stressed that temp employees would receive standard wages and be provided with suitable accommodation for the period.

According to information from government circles, a large number of skilled workers could enter Germany for a few months sometime in July. Sources said the initial plan is for about 2,000 workers to be recruited. 

The workers are to be recruited from Turkey and some Balkan states, among other countries, for a limited period of up to three months, Ralph Beisel, CEO of the German Airports Association (ADV), told DPA on Monday. They would likely be employed directly by ground handling service providers. 

Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) spoke of a “temporary solution” agreed with Heil and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD).

He said: “I take the situation seriously and want to help citizens.” 

READ ALSO: How your travel plans to Germany could change this summer

Faeser added: “We will make it possible for support staff from abroad to be deployed, for example, in baggage handling.” She added that there would be no compromise on security. 

According to a study by the Institute of the German Economy, there is currently a shortage of about 7,200 skilled workers at German airports.

After NRW, schools in the coastal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will go on holiday next week, followed by Hamburg, Berlin and Brandenburg on the Wednesday after (July 6th).

The southern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria will be the last to go – at the end of July and on August 1st respectively.

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