As RAILMARKET.com reported at the end of May, Germany started a unique experiment with a budget train ticket to help people with high energy prices while boosting public transport.
With a single ticket, people can be able to ride all forms of public transport, across Germany, including buses, U-Bahns, S-Bahns, trams, and local and regional trains run by Deutsche Bahn. According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), around 21 million special tickets were sold nationwide in the first month of validity for the 9-euro ticket.
Now the first analyses of how the 9-euro ticket has impacted Germany are published. The German Ministry of Transport informed that the analysis of the traffic data specialist Tomtom showed a decrease in the level of congestion in 23 of the 26 cities examined compared to the time before the introduction. The improvement in congestion levels was particularly strong in Hamburg where car traffic fell by 20% in June compared to May.
The nationwide market research realized by VDV and Deutsche Bahn AG on behalf of the federal and state governments on the 9-Euro-Ticket confirms initial trend statements at the end of the first month of the campaign period. "It is very pleasing that one-fifth of the purchasers state that they have not normally used public transport before. At the same time, six percent of the journeys would have been made with another means of transport outside of public transport without the 9-Euro-Ticket, of which a good half would have been made by car. A good one in four of all journeys with the 9-Euro-Ticket, including the journeys of subscription customers, would never have been made in the first place without the ticket,” says VDV CEO Oliver Wolff.
A more detailed analysis is provided by the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) which confirmed that significantly more rail travels between 30 and 300 kilometers were made in June 2022 than in June 2019. This is shown by a special evaluation of mobile network data. Movements are identified on the basis of anonymized and aggregated mobile radio data from changes in position if the stays at the place of departure and destination are at least 30 minutes.
The biggest increase was seen in the first week of June when the movements in rail transport between 30 and 300 kilometers were on average 56% higher than in the same period in 2019.
The increase in train journeys was observed especially for distances up to 300 kilometers. If the distances are further subdivided, train journeys on short distances (30 to 100 kilometers) were approximately at the pre-crisis level in the last week of May, but in the first week of June, they were already 58% above the pre-crisis level. For medium distances (100 to 300 kilometers), there was a corresponding increase from 18% to 64%. This development was even more significant at weekends. For example, train journeys on an average Saturday in May 2022 were 18% higher than in the same period in the previous year, and in June this value increased to 83%.
The data of the Federal Statistical Office also shows that there has been a moderate decrease in road traffic. Compared to 2019 journeys between 100 and 300 kilometers were still 13% higher in the last week of May but 6% lower in the last week of June.