Authorities in France and Germany are working on the implementation of a “Franco-German” train ticket for young people with the goal of promoting travel between the two countries, the two transport ministers announced in early November. The details of this “special reduced-price youth ticket” will be defined by the Franco-German Council of Ministers in January 2023, the transport ministers said in a joint statement.
“In order to achieve our climate targets for the transport sector, we must convince even more people to travel by train. To do this, we must provide attractive offers,” said Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Affairs Volker Wissing, who was in Paris in November for a “working visit” at the invitation of his counterpart Clément Beaune.
This is an important step in our common ambition for European construction and ecological transition.Clément Beaune, France’s Minister of Transport
“Travel and exchange are at the heart of the Franco-German rapprochement. This is an important step in our common ambition for European construction and ecological transition,” commented Beaune. “I am convinced that with such a ticket, we will strengthen both the relationship between our two countries and the climate-friendly rail mode.”
The initiative is announced in a context where the relationship between Paris and Berlin has come up against several disputes in recent weeks. Noting their differences, the two countries have also postponed the Franco-German Council of Ministers originally scheduled for late October. In the meantime, a lunch was held at the Élysée Palace in the presence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who assured that France and Germany remained “very close”.
“Travel and exchange are at the heart of the Franco-German rapprochement. This is an important step in our common ambition for European construction and ecological transition,” said Beaune.
The two ministers visited the Paris-Le Bourget site of Airbus Helicopters, which produces the most innovative blades on the market in terms of decarbonization and noise reduction. They agreed to discuss their projects again in the coming weeks, and also their joint positions at the Transport Council on December 5th in Brussels.
In October, Germany announced plans to introduce a public transport pass with a cost of 49 euros a month if authorities can agree on how to fund it. Valid nationwide, the ticket could be introduced as early as January 1st, 2023. According to Euronews, the new ‘Deutschlandticket’ will cost users around €1.60 per day. It is not valid on intercity trains.
The proposal follows a highly successful 9-euro ticket that was on sale for three months this summer as part of the government’s efforts to help people reduce gasoline use, help combat inflation and promote more environmentally friendly means of transport.
According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), 52 million €9 rail passes were sold in Germany over the three months. The pass, which expired on August 31st, offered passengers unlimited use of local and regional German trains between the months of June and August. The VDV asked the German government to introduce a replacement for the rail pass arguing that around 1.8 million tons of CO2 were spared during the offer period, a reduction equivalent to planting 90 million trees.