On the way to a successor to the nine-euro ticket, the conference of transport ministers of the federal states (VMK) agreed on how to proceed in a special session. The state transport ministers themselves set up a working group to work on a follow-up ticket, and they expect the federal government to respond to their demand for higher financing with their own offer. This emerges from the decision of the VMK, which is available online.
A “country-open working group” is to be set up quickly, which will involve collective bargaining experts, the decision further states. This should specify the framework for a follow-up ticket and its financing and present one or more models for decision. At the same time, the legal framework for a nationwide public transport ticket is to be developed. The results should be available by the next conference of transport ministers on October 12th.
More federal money?
“The conference of transport ministers states that an agreement on a follow-up ticket can only be made together with an increase in regionalization funds,” the decision continues. The federal government must increase these funds by 1.5 billion euros annually. For 2022 and 2023, the federal states are demanding an additional 1.65 billion euros to compensate for the increased energy costs.
Before the VMK wants to decide on a nationwide public transport ticket, the federal government should submit an offer in which it addresses the decisions of the conference of transport ministers to increase regionalization funds. Overall, it is about compensating for the general price increases since 2019, the corona damage and the energy price increases as a result of the Ukraine war.
The Bremen Transport Senator and VMK Chairwoman Maike Schaefer (Greens) sees the negotiations with Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) on the right track. “Nevertheless, it is important to the states that the federal government moves and raises the urgently needed regionalization funds before the states make further financial commitments for a nine-euro follow-up ticket.” Otherwise, the price-driving factors could mean a step backwards in the turnaround in transport.
Wissing believes in a nationwide ticket
People should have more money in their wallets and a massively simplified ticket structure, Schaefer said. “That’s why the states have clearly signaled that they are willing to make their contribution to a nationwide follow-up ticket.”
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After the conference, Wissing was “convinced that we will be able to offer a nationwide ticket that is easy to book digitally at an attractive price by the turn of the year”. Everyone agrees “that the follow-up ticket can be a key step on the way to an attractive offer for public transport”. In addition, work is continuing on an expansion and modernization pact that will make public transport significantly more convenient and attractive.
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Saarland Transport Minister Petra Berg (SPD) said she had hoped for more from the conference. “Unfortunately, the federal states have not yet received anything concrete from the federal government to clarify the basic financing. Federal Minister Wissing remained completely non-binding here today.” Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Transport Minister Reinhard Meyer (SPD) was disappointed. A 365-euro ticket is planned in his country, the current funds are not sufficient for this, but there is no commitment to increase the regionalization funds.
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