By warning of price increases and an impending end to the Deutschlandticket, the states are increasing the pressure on the federal government to make further financial commitments. After a special conference, the transport ministers of the federal states called on the federal government to immediately contribute half of the additional costs of the ticket up to and including 2025.

Without the federal government’s willingness to provide sufficient funds as early as 2024, a “significant price increase” would be necessary next year, according to a unanimously adopted resolution. Decisions would have to be made in October. Without a quick commitment from the federal government, “the continuation of the Deutschlandticket from 2024 is and will remain seriously endangered,” it said.

Wissing doesn’t want to talk

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) had rejected new talks with the states about additional federal money for the Deutschlandticket. He canceled his participation in the special digital conference. His ministry was represented at the meeting by two department heads. “The willingness was not yet there to reach a deeper agreement on financial issues,” said NRW Transport Minister Oliver Krischer (Greens), current chairman of the Conference of Transport Ministers (VMK), afterwards.

“We have reached out and made it clear our willingness to continue the Deutschlandticket success story.” There is urgent time pressure to act. The states were now hoping for an exchange and clarification at the next regular conference of transport ministers on October 11th and 12th in Cologne.

Wissing, on the other hand, said in the morning on the ntv program ” Frühstart ” that financial issues had been clarified by 2025 as part of a Prime Minister’s Conference, combined with the agreement to talk about further financing and structure of the Deutschlandticket in 2025. “And now it’s 2023.”

Germany ticket costs billions

The federal and state governments are each contributing 1.5 billion euros per year until 2025. However, the possible additional costs of the ticket are controversial. In the first year, the additional costs should be shared in half – but this “obligation to make additional contributions” will be open from 2024.

The Association of German Transport Companies expects additional costs for the Deutschlandticket to amount to 1.1 billion euros in 2024. The states agreed to pay half of the additional costs in 2024 and 2025. The federal government must also commit to this.

“All 16 countries agreed today that we want to continue the Germany ticket,” said Brandenburg Infrastructure Minister Guido Beermann (CDU). “The only thing we are missing is the commitment of the federal government,” said Beermannn. “If we don’t come to a good solution here, then the continuation of the Germany Ticket will be in question.” It was a “corresponding signal” that Federal Transport Minister Wissing had no time.

Since May 1st, you can use the D-Ticket to travel on buses and trains in local public transport nationwide for 49 euros per month – with a digitally bookable, monthly-cancellable subscription. The Saarland Environment and Mobility Minister Petra Berg said that after the successful introduction, it was now a matter of establishing the Deutschlandticket on the market. The more attractive the ticket becomes, the higher the income and the lower the losses.

There is also uncertainty about the semester ticket

The states also demanded immediate approval from the federal government for the proposed introduction of a nationwide semester ticket for students for 29.40 euros in order to enable a change to the 2024 summer semester. The nationwide semester ticket is also an important component in financing the Germany ticket. The federal government signaled this week that the model for the semester ticket was “good and effective,” said Krischer. “All that’s missing is a go.” The Federal Minister of Transport only has to raise his thumb once.

Broad support for the Deutschlandticket

Associations and unions are also calling for long-term, reliable financing of the Germany Ticket. “We cannot afford to repeat every year the egg dance that took place when the funding was introduced,” said Verdi deputy chairwoman Christine Behle.

According to the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv), financing must be secured so that the Deutschlandticket is successful in the long term and more people use local transport. However, the discussions about financing caused uncertainty. The environmental organization Greenpeace criticized Wissing. “With this fatal impasse, Volker Wissing is jeopardizing the only success that the Minister of Transport has achieved in climate protection after two years.”