€9 ticket: All questions, all answers

A ticket of €9 per person allows you to travel on German local public transport (ÖPNV) for 30 days at the price of €9. IMTEST answers the most important questions about the €9 ticket and reveals how you can even use it to engage socially.

1. Is the unit of 9 euro tickets limited?

No not at all. Now there are the first ads on sales portals like classifieds on eBay. But there will be no real shortage of 9 euro tickets. The unit is unlimited and can be purchased regardless of nationality and residence.

If you want to make a profit with an extra ticket of €9, you need a lot of luck. Because tickets are available indefinitely at a standard price. © Ads on eBay

2. Are regional subscriptions now nationwide?

This question is currently being asked by all those who have obtained a subscription privately or through their employer. According to a Statista study from 2017, nearly 51 percent of those surveyed over the age of 18 have a monthly, annual, or permanent subscription. They can now consider themselves lucky: on the one hand, each subscription has been reduced to nine euros, on the other hand, this is valid nationwide in every transport union and on regional trains.

People are sitting on the subway.

Ticket 9 €: IMTEST shows the most important information and points of sale.

3. Do some subscriptions lose their restrictions?

Yeah. There are certain subscriptions that may be limited in time, for example during rush hour traffic. This includes senior tickets or part-time subscriptions. With the launch of the €9 ticket on June 1, this limitation has become noticeable, as well as those imposed by the price zones.

However, the situation is different with the organization of passenger transport. If the subscription entitles you to take someone else with you on certain days, this is still only valid in that carrier.

4. Is the 9 euro card transferable?

Immediately after purchasing the ticket, it must be specified with the name in capital letters or entered when purchasing electronically. Of course, this is also possible for other people, such as children.

The non-profit initiative “Sorge Less” also invites people to purchase an additional ticket of €9 as a ticket sponsor. This can be provided to those who cannot afford it.

5. What modes of transportation are excluded?

In addition to the regional trains of the Deutsche Bahn, private companies such as Metronom or Abellio also offer or accept a 9 euro ticket from purchases throughout Germany.

Be careful with the phrases. If these belong to the urban network, as in Hamburg or Berlin, the €9 card is valid. However, the ticket cannot be used for travel to Heligoland, Norderney or Amrum. FlixTrains, FlixBusse, and night trains are also excluded. As you probably know, ICE, IC, EC and ECE are of course not part of regional transport.

6. Who or what can be taken with you?

Children up to five years old travel free. The situation is different with dogs or bikes. For these, normal fares apply depending on the route or transport union.

7. How do I plan a 9 euro trip?

There are two options for travel planning: In the Deutsche Bahn search mask, you can preset that only regional trains and other local transportation should be taken into account.

Screenshot of a Deutsche Bahn search mask with a check mark next to it
Wouldn’t a trip to the Baltic Sea cost a lot? No problem thanks to the €9 ticket and the “local transport only” fund. © Deutsche Bahn

Another tip is the direct.bahn.guru website. If you enter your starting station in the search field at the top right, the website will show you how far away each destination is. However: The free-of-charge program does not differentiate between long-distance transportation and local transportation. So one is more confident with the Deutsche Bahn’s search mask.

8. Will the rail service be expanded with a €9 ticket?

The concern that existing infrastructure will not be able to keep pace with demand is well-founded and is already the subject of much discussion. So comparisons with overly crowded trains in India pulled, which is not only annoying to travelers there, but also life-threatening. It is difficult to anticipate such strict dimensions, but the corresponding full trains should be expected. Local train operators are advised to avoid heavily used routes. Several associations, such as Augsburg and Nuremberg, fill out old models, some of which are not without drawbacks, as well as an active railway fleet. Of course, the 1926 bus pictured below isn’t one of them.

9. Was there such work before?

Yes, in 1995 a so-called 15-D-Mark ticket was introduced to improve the use of local transportation on weekends. Also known as the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket, it was only withdrawn from sale in 2019. When introduced, the ticket allows you to travel across the country on S-Bahn, regional trains, and regional express trains between Saturday 12:00 AM and Sunday 12:00 AM for 15 Deutschmarks.

10. What is the Sylt debate all about?

Fears are rife online that tourists and left-wing protesters will take over the wealthy North Sea island with a €9 ticket. No one currently knows if this will actually happen. Especially since the costs of accommodation, taxes and tourist meals are not reduced by the monthly ticket. Also: with a €9 ticket, you get access to many other destinations and routes worth seeing in addition to Sylt.

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