According to the Association of German Transport Companies, the new Deutschlandticket cannot be launched on January 1st. Because the digital purchases would first have to be prepared. Realistically, it will only be from March 1st.

The transport companies do not consider it feasible to start the new Deutschlandticket in local and regional transport in January. An introduction on March 1 is realistic, said Oliver Wolff, general manager of the Association of German Transport Companies, on Thursday of the German Press Agency in Berlin. The ticket cannot be implemented in the short term. Wolff went on to say that the ticket will also be available in paper form for a transitional period.

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) had given the goal for the introduction of the new ticket at the beginning of January. The federal and state governments agreed on Wednesday about open financing issues in local public transport. This clears the way for the 49-euro monthly ticket. This is planned as a digital, nationwide valid “Deutschlandticket”.

Wolff said that the Deutschlandticket is basically a “milestone forward” for passengers. If you want to reach many passengers, it is a reasonable price. For the introduction, however, there are still details to be negotiated with politicians. The question is who bears the entrepreneurial risk for the losses that are now taking place as a result of this tariff measure. “It hasn’t been finally settled. The transport companies will not be able to do it.” The federal and state governments had made a decision that they capped their financial contributions. The volume of this cap is three billion euros.

The Deutschlandticket is a paradigm shift and presents many companies with major challenges, said Wolff. Paper tickets would still be offered everywhere, which customers would also ask for. “And in this respect we actually have the task of preparing the digital channels now. That takes a little time. I therefore assume that we will have a transitional period during which the old sales formats will continue, including paper tickets for a certain period of time. But in the end we will have to go digital.”

Wissing’s idea is that a central platform will be set up for this purpose. “Of course, that takes a bit of preparation time.” Wolff said that in order to attract additional passengers with the ticket, there had to be additional traffic. “We can hardly offer a 49-euro ticket and then not provide enough vehicles.” Everyone involved remained obliged to consistently expand the system.”