According to the Federal Association of German Bus Companies, the German nine-euro ticket had the side effect that significantly fewer charter buses were used. The BDO carried out a survey among the members, which showed that, particularly for school trips and senior citizens' trips, far less use was made of touring coaches.
The German federal government offered a special ticket for nine euros per month in the calendar months of June, July and August 2022. This entitles you to unlimited use of all local transport services throughout Germany. The nine-euro ticket led to overcrowded regional trains and is still the subject of controversy. There is no immediate successor offer.
The results of the BDO survey suggest that schoolchildren and retirees are increasingly using scheduled services for excursions. Clubs are said to have booked fewer trips. This allows the assumption that more and more scheduled services included in the nine-euro ticket were switched to. In many cases, this could have been cheaper than a charter bus.
However, due to the sometimes considerable overcrowding of regular buses and regional trains, it is questionable whether the travel groups were able to use all connections as originally planned. This is not the result of the survey by the bus association. The trains were sometimes so overcrowded that every square millimeter was used. Even the toilets had to serve as makeshift standing room. It was not uncommon for no further passengers to board due to acute overcrowding.
Successor could cost up to 69 euros per month
Previous analyzes have shown that the nine-euro ticket missed the original plan. The federal government actually wanted to relieve commuters on the way to work. Due to the fact that the vast majority of the offer period fell during the summer holidays, it was foreseeable that this goal could not be achieved. Several studies have come to the conclusion that the nine-euro ticket was mainly used for leisure trips, but also for travel to airports and holidays within Germany.
The federal government is planning a follow-up offer, but it should be significantly more expensive. Many details are not yet known, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) stated that it will cost between 49 and 69 euros. A start date has not yet been set. Various industry associations are now trying to exert influence. The German long-distance bus provider Flixbus also demands that you be taken into account accordingly. According to their own information, the nine-euro ticket has resulted in a significant drop in passengers.