The future of the Deutschlandticket, a symbol of mobility in Germany, hangs in the balance. Martin Klein, the General Manager of the District Council of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), is sounding the alarm and warns that without direct financing guarantees the standard rate could “collapse” next year. Municipal authorities, now under pressure, are calling for concrete commitments from the federal and state governments to avoid a scenario that could be detrimental to national mobility.
The Deutschlandticket, a crucial part of public transport in Germany, is in jeopardy, according to Klein. “It is not certain at all,” he says, adding that “the first rate adjustments could be implemented as early as 2024.” The situation is aggravated by the lack of price fixing by the federal government since October 1, 2023. In addition, the assumption of financial risks expires at the end of this year. This delay in resolving the financing issue places a critical financial burden on municipalities, threatening the stability of the uniform rate.
The districts, as key players in public transport, must decide on 2024 fares before the end of the year. However, local authorities are running out of cash and there are concerns about compensation for expected losses, especially in rural areas. Klein criticizes the transfer of economic responsibility to local governments and emphasizes their inability to assume the risks of the Deutschland ticket in the current context.
Martin Klein emphasizes that the districts that support the Deutschland ticket and have promoted its national rollout should not be forced to bear the financial burden. Faced with this looming crisis, calls on the NRW District Council to urgent action by the authorities.
“This year, the federal and state governments must fully guarantee the financing of the Deutschland ticket,” says Klein. “The country must make it clear that it will take financial and administrative responsibility for the implementation of the Deutschlandticket.”
He calls for a legal regulation of the Deutschlandticket by the state, for example in the Public Transport Act. According to him, the country must make it clear that it takes financial and administrative responsibility for the Deutschland ticket. This is an urgent call to action to safeguard the future of mobility in Germany.