Thursday at Bonn Central Station Travelers share their views on the 9-euro ticket

Bonn · Over the long Corpus Christi weekend, the transport associations in Bonn and the region are expecting more travelers than usual. One reason is the 9-euro-ticket. A visit to Bonn's main train station shows: The ticket has been a resounding success, but is also accompanied by criticism.

 Many people took advantage of the 9-euro-ticket already over the Pentecost long weekend.

Many people took advantage of the 9-euro-ticket already over the Pentecost long weekend.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Felix Blanke (22), Helene Glöcker (25) and Marena Richter (23) are standing at platform 1 waiting for their train. The three university students in Bonn want to go to the Hurricane Festival in Scheeßel, between Bremen and Hamburg in Lower Saxony. With their semester ticket, they can already travel throughout NRW, but the 9-euro ticket now allows them to travel the whole of Germany. They view the offer very positively, even though they notice that there are a lot more people out traveling. "I was at Cologne Central Station last Saturday," Richter says. "It was already very busy there. It took me five minutes to even get off the platform." Blanke definitely plans to take advantage of the opportunity to travel cheaply. "I plan to visit friends all over Germany.”

A 17-year-old girl from Bonn, who doesn’t want to be named, is traveling to Cologne on this Corpus Christi Thursday with the 9-euro ticket. Her last train trip was more than two weeks ago and that was before the introduction of the cheap ticket. At that time, the train was very crowded. "I hope it won't be like that today," she says. But she definitely wants to use the ticket in the near future to see Berlin together with a friend.

The 9-euro ticket does not necessarily replace the car

Britta Krieschel wants to visit her son in Cologne on Corpus Christi. "Otherwise, I always went by car," says the 60-year-old. In her experience, it has become more crowded on the trains, but not “crowded to the breaking point". Asked if she would approve of and use the service for a period longer than three months, she replies, "Absolutely."

Elisabeth Marx is also using the 9-euro ticket. She wants to go to Leverkusen and then further by car to a wedding. "From Leverkusen, the place (where she is going) can’t be reached by public transport," she explains. Even though she supports the offer of the inexpensive monthly ticket, she is somewhat critical of an extension. "It happens again and again that trains are cancelled or there is not enough staff because of coronavirus." She also says the trains have become much more crowded. She feels that the railroad companies are somewhat overwhelmed by the mass of people who are now increasingly using buses and rail.

People want the offer to be extended

Annette Rousselot wants to spend a nice day in Cologne with her husband. They are also using the 9-euro ticket. In the past few weeks, she says, she has traveled to Remagen and Bad Mergentheim. The trains were not particularly full on those occasions. “They could for sure continue to offer the 9-euro-ticket," she says. She believes that bus and train prices have risen sharply recently.

Traveling through Germany and seeing the various cities, this is also what a couple from Bavaria have in mind. "The 9-euro ticket is really a super offer," says the woman. They come from Friedberg near Augsburg and want to go to Cologne on Corpus Christi Thursday. They see a big advantage in no longer having to rack their brains over the individual transport associations and ticket systems. They also traveled to the Mosel. "There the train was pretty full," says the Bavarian, "but I think that's always the case there." He says he would be pleased if the offer for the special ticket was extended beyond the three months. "But then the availability of trains must also work," he says.

Delays and full trains cause trouble

At platform 3, a man and a woman are waiting for their train heading south. They want to go to Limburg that day, of course with the 9-euro ticket. Neither of them has a car and they use buses and trains a lot. They can confirm that the trains have become more crowded. "Last Wednesday it was already very chaotic on line 66," says the man. But it was also during rush hour, between 4:30 and 5 p.m., he says. Nevertheless, he would like to have the ticket extend beyond the three months. It could then also cost more. "About 100 euros a month, if you can travel all over Germany with it, is fine in my opinion," he says.

Maria Wupper is not traveling by train today. "I'm just picking up my sister," says the 72-year-old from Sankt Augustin. But she can also talk about experiences with full trains and delays. "On Whit Saturday, it took me a good three and a half hours to get from Hamm to Siegburg," she says. About an hour longer than usual. Since she has a Bahncard50, she prefers to travel this route with an extra ticket next time. She would be happy if the offer would go on for longer, even if it would be more expensive. "It can be 12 to 15 euros," says Wupper. But that would require hiring more staff and running more trains, she adds. "It can't go on as it is now.”

Orig. text: Thomas Leurs / Translation: ck

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