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Deutsche Bahn to offer 60,000 extra seats on German regional trains

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is increasing its regional train services to offer 60,000 extra seats per day from June to coincide with the €9 ticket offer.

A regional train stands on the new track at Homburger Damm in Frankfurt.
A regional train stands on the new track at Homburger Damm in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Helmut Fricke

“DB Regio is running more than 50 additional trains for the expected increase in the number of passengers from June 1st,” the company said.

The extra trains will mean DB can offer 250 additional services and 60,000 additional seats per day. The additional vehicles will be used primarily along tourist routes. According to the company, an average of about 7,000 regional trains offering 22,000 services are in operation nationwide in Germany every day.

The number of employees at stations and on trains will also increase. More than 700 extra service and security staff will help coordinate boarding and disembarking, as well as assisting passengers with luggage and providing information.

From June until the end of August, people in Germany can buy a reduced-price ticket for public transport at a cost of €9 per month.

The ticket, which is part of measures to ease the cost of living, allows people to use all public transport across the country, whether it’s buses, trams, the S-Bahn, the U-Bahn or regional trains. 

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The €9 ticket cannot be used on long-distance services with ICE, Intercity and Eurocity, the trains of the railway competitor Flix and on long-distance buses.

Transport bosses are expecting travel to be rammed. 

Jörg Sandvoß, CEO of DB Regio said: “The 9-Euro-Ticket is a unique opportunity for public transport and climate protection in Germany.

“At the same time, it is a great experiment for public transport as a whole. We are preparing and literally putting everything we have into motion – trains, buses, service staff.

“Everyone will benefit from this. Subscription customers as well as passengers who are returning after a long break from corona or who are discovering the attractiveness of trains and buses for themselves. All of this is only possible thanks to our employees, who are doing an incredible job these days.”

Due to the busy services, DB said services could reach their limits – and said people taking bikes on board won’t always be guaranteed a space. Bikes are not included on the €9 ticket. 

“Taking bicycles along cannot always be guaranteed,” said Sandvoß.

More than 200,000 tickets sold

Deutsche Bahn said it had already sold more than 200,000 of the €9 tickets in the first hours of the pre-sale, which started on Monday morning.

Sandvoß said the firm was already experiencing a “historically large” take-up on sales.

However, passengers could face disruption due to lots of building work on the tracks in summer. 

Rail operators have urged travellers to check their journey isn’t disrupted by construction work before travelling.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Majority of Germans in favour of ‘extending the €9 ticket’

The €9 ticket is set to expire at the end of the month. But more than half of Germans want the cheap travel deal to continue, according to a new survey.

Majority of Germans in favour of 'extending the €9 ticket'

In three weeks’ time, Germany’s cheap summer travel offer will come to an end. While members of the traffic light coalition government have been unable to agree on a continuation of the ticket, the majority of Germans are in favour of keeping the heavily-discounted travel card in place.

According to a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Civey for German news magazine Spiegel, 55 percent would like to see an extension of the ticket, which allows people to use public transportation throughout Germany for €9 per month. Meanwhile, 34 percent of Germans are against extending the offer. 

READ ALSO: Could drivers in Germany fund a future €9 ticket scheme?

The survey also showed that mainly Green Party supporters are for an extension of the €9 ticket, as more than two-thirds are in favour of continuing the deal. A majority of supporters of the Left Party and the SPD are also in favour of continuing the discount campaign.

Leading Green Party politicians have put forward proposals for a cheap successor to the €9 ticket: a regional ticket for €29 and a nationwide ticket for €49 a month. 

Meanwhile, FDP Finance Minister Christian Lindner has heavily criticised demands for extending the cheap transport deal. On Monday he tweeted that a “freebie mentality is not sustainably financeable, not efficient and not fair”. He also told the  Augsburger Allgemeine that there is no scope for an extension in the federal budget.

The Spiegel poll backs up the results of a questionnaire conducted by The Local, which showed that 85.4 percent of readers want the €9 ticket to continue after August. Meanwhile, 47.2 percent of readers said that reduced cost was the most important issue for them in relation to public transport in Germany. 

READ ALSO: ‘Affordable and simple’: What foreigners in Germany want to see after the €9 ticket

Reader Asa from Hamburg, 26, told the Local “I’d love to see a successor to the €9 ticket supported. It’s given me the chance to explore the surrounding towns in a way that would otherwise be financially unviable.”

Bethany, a reader from Kaiserslautern, said she had replaced at least six long-distance car journeys with public transport in June and July.

“Before, the cost of taking a train wasn’t worth it. But now? I’ll put up with delayed trains for €9,” she said. 

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