Skip to content
CityLab
Transportation

To Fight its Gas Crisis, Germany Proposes a New Cheap Transit Plan

The proposed replacement to a popular summer train-ticket deal would cost more than 9 euros, but could offer a more durable incentive to choose transit over driving.

Passengers wait to board a train on a platform at Frankfurt Central Station, on the last day of the 9-euro ($9) monthly ticket in Germany, on Aug. 31, 2022. 

Passengers wait to board a train on a platform at Frankfurt Central Station, on the last day of the 9-euro ($9) monthly ticket in Germany, on Aug. 31, 2022. 

Photographer: Bern Kilb/Bloomberg

German public transit policy made unexpected global headlines in May, when the country offered travel on all urban and regional trains, trams, buses and subways for just 9 euros ($9.02) a month from June through August.

Intended to ease the energy and cost-of-living crises provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the three-month deal proved hugely popular: 52 million 9-euro tickets were sold, and 20% those tickets went to people who wouldn’t normally use public transit, according to the public-transport lobbying group VDV. The resulting reduction in car trips saved an estimated 1 .8 million tons of carbon emissions.