Germany to introduce unlimited train travel for £1.40 a day
Unlimited travel by rail, tram and bus anywhere in Germany will cost €49 per month from some time this year – equivalent to just £1.40 per day.
The German Embassy in London announced “the digital Deutschlandticket” on Twitter back in November 2022.
Initially it said the unlimited travel pass would be available from January. But later the embassy said: “The Association of German Transport Companies has warned that it may not be possible to roll out this ticket from January.
“Everyone is aiming to have the ticket in place asap.”
It was then rumoured that the Deutschland ticket would be available from April or May; the latest update is that it’s likely to be even later than that. No official date has been given.
The German Embassy said the €49 ticket is intended “to cut CO2 emissions and help people with the cost of living”.
The 2023 one-month ticket will cover all but the fastest trains, plus U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks in the cities. It also includes trams, most buses and even ferry services on the River Elbe in Hamburg.
While the does not cover intercity expresses, any journey across Germany is possible using slower regional express trains.
The deal is open to all, regardless of nationality, and there is no need to book in advance.
The move follows a summer 2022 experiment of offering a €9 access-all-areas ticket for each of June, July and August.
The deal worked out at 25p per day. The price was pitched so low that the ticket paid for itself on a single short journey.
It proved so popular that many trains became extremely crowded, especially at weekends. As news of the deal spread, German Railways warned passengers: “If you are returning home after a trip, do not wait until the last train as it is likely to be very busy.”
The €9 ticket ended on 31 August, and travellers have been waiting to see what might replace it.
While some users complained with the jump in price – a 444 per cent increase – the editors of Europe by Rail said “€49 is still an incredible deal”.
The ticket will be issued only for whole calendar months; a trip which straddled June and July, for example, would require two tickets.
Mark Smith, the international rail expert who runs the Seat61.com website, tweeted: “Affordable travel on regional trains in Germany, €49 per month.
“Just like in Britain, really... [ducks down and legs it, sharpish].”