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Germany Introduces Unlimited Cheap Travel

After a successful trial, unlimited travel by rail, tram and bus anywhere in Germany will cost €49 per month from early next year - equivalent to just £1.40 ($1.60) per day - “to cut CO2 emissions and help people with the cost of living.”

Deutsche Bahn train travelling through the countryside

During the summer, the German government introduced a three month pilot program offering ultra-cheap transit tickets. It was such a success that they are going to re-introduce a similar offering for all of 2023.

Last summer's trial, sold 52 million unlimited monthly transit passes for just 9 euros ($9) each, allowing many Germans to ditch their private vehicles for trips and daily commutes to and from work. Indeed, the tickets helped transit replace roughly 10 percent of all car trips. Perhaps most interestingly, separate analysis says the tickets - which were valid for local and regional trains and buses - led 20 percent of Germans to begin regularly taking public transit for the first time. To top it off, the trial saved about 1.8 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

As OGN reported in September, if tickets as cheap as this (subsidised by the government) were made available throughout the year it would cost $14 billion in subsidies, and it would be unlikely that the government could stomach that vast expense. That has proved to be the case and the new deal offers unlimited travel by rail, tram and bus anywhere in Germany for €49 ($49) per month from early next year. The German Embassy said on Twitter that the €49 ticket is intended “to cut CO2 emissions and help people with the cost of living”.

While some users complained about the jump in price, the editors of Europe by Rail said “€49 is still an incredible deal”.

It will be interesting to see how close to the successes of the pilot programme that the new €49 deal can get. OGN will keep you posted.


France’s New Luxury High-Speed Trains: France has one of the world’s finest high-speed rail networks. The country’s network of TGVs (or ‘Trains à Grande Vitesse’, as any true train aficionado will no doubt already know) covers pretty much all of France and is an exceptionally fast and convenient way to get around. But are they resting on their laurels? Mais, non!

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