Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - After the first month of validity of the 9-euro ticket, the Pro Bahn North Rhine-Westphalia passenger association has drawn a positive balance. The ticket "certainly hits the nerve of the passengers," said state chairman Detlef Neuß on Friday on radio station WDR 5. The need is there, although in his opinion the price is not the main reason for the purchase, but the ticket is "impressively simple ", says Neuss. "You can use the ticket throughout Germany without having to remember network or tariff limits."
However, fears of overcrowded trains and even train clearances have come true, especially on main routes towards the North and Baltic Seas or in Bavaria, said Neuss. Also, the transport of bicycles was not guaranteed everywhere. But those who have not headed for "a premium destination" such as Berlin or Hamburg have had good experiences. "The trains were full, but not overcrowded."
However, the inexpensive 9-euro ticket does not change the fact that the rail infrastructure is ailing and there are not enough wagons and staff, said Neuss. "I can give out 150 liters of free beer. But if I only put out 12 glasses, it still doesn't work." The introduction of a permanently inexpensive ticket is only possible if more trains are purchased and the staff is increased. However, the necessary money for the expansion of the infrastructure should not be "cannibalized" by such a ticket.
According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), around 21 million 9-euro tickets were sold nationwide in June. Together with around ten million subscribers who automatically receive the discounted ticket, there are even more than 30 million tickets. The ticket entitles buyers to travel throughout Germany on local public transport in June, July and August for 9 euros each.