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The wonder that is €49 ticket. Germany’s way of tackling climate change.

Last year (2022) Germany started the9 ticket. This was valid for 3 months, June to August 2022. Anyone possessing the ticket could travel across the country on any public transport (bus, train, trams, metro); of course not the long distance trains like the ICE or IC. This year after many legislative debates and discussions, the magic ticket is back. This time at a cost of 49 dubbed as Deutschland ticket to make it more sustainable. The ticket is available from 1st May till December 31st, 2023.


The aim of this ticket is three-fold:


First to encourage the people to use public transport and ditch private ones. This would help in combating pollution to a substantial extent. If more people travel towards a common destination, why not travel collectively, and save some energy. Wise, Isn’t it?


Second, as more people went for public transportation, there was less demand for oil and gas. With the war continuing in Ukraine, Germany’s major oil and gas supply from Russia took a hit owing to the former’s support for Ukraine.


Third, it encouraged people to use local transport and travel more. This was important to boost the economy, especially post pandemic. As more and more people travelled across the length and breadth of the country there was a flurry of economic activities that witnessed a rise.


The result as demonstrated last year:


1. 52 million tickets were sold, according to Association of German Transport Companies (VDV)

2. Three months of 9 ticket saved as much CO2 as a year long speed limit on the Autobahn.

3. It also demonstrated that people are willing to accept public transport if the tickets are flexible and easy to access.

4. Economically poorer sections of society got a chance to avail themselves of the ticket and travel more along with their families.

5. Federal governments got a chance to improve the local and regional public transportation in urban and rural areas.


It is an innovative way of managing climate challenge. The process could be replicated in other European countries. However, the same may not be feasible for South Asian countries, per se. The infrastructural challenges that might arise due to the rising number of people availing public transport because of low prices of tickets may not be feasible for the local governments. Also comparatively speaking low-income countries possess comparatively a smaller number of private transportations.


Therefore, a policy approach in a highly developed western country should and cannot be blindly imitated in a low-income country with poorer infrastructure without considering the associated challenges that it might give rise to.


For now, it is time to wait and watch how the tickets will perform this year. At the end of the period we will have data to observe how effective it was in combating climate change and measure the associated hurdles that need to be overcome if the same (low cost ticket) is to make an appearance in the subsequent years.

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