Observing Germany's nationwide public transport fare policy experiment “9-Euro-Ticket” – Empirical findings from a panel study

Allister Loder, Fabienne Cantner, Lennart Adenaw, Nico Nachtigall, David Ziegler, Felix Gotzler, Markus B. Siewert, Stefan Wurster, Sebastian Goerg, Markus Lienkamp, Klaus Bogenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In spring 2022, the German federal government announced responses to the 2022 cost-of-living crisis. These included among others, a nationwide local public transport ticket for 9 Euro per month. Available only in June, July, and August 2022, it allowed for unlimited travel on all local and regional public transport services in Germany. In transport policy research, this is an almost unprecedented behavioral experiment that allows studying travel behavior and the effectiveness of such instruments. We observed this natural experiment with a three-wave survey and a smartphone-based semi-passive travel diary based on waypoint tracking. We recruited 2,316 participants, out of which 907 agreed to participate in the tracking; the latter are primarily located in the Munich metropolitan region, and most got the 9-Euro-Ticket. 1,454 respondents have completed the three-wave survey and 684 respondents completed the survey and provided travel behavior data with the smartphone app. We find that public transport use increased particularly for 9-Euro-Ticket customers who had no travel pass before. Regular public transport use increased from 29 % before to 38 % during and to 32 % after the 9-Euro-Ticket for our nationwide panel, where around 20 % of 9-Euro-Ticket substituted at least some private transport trips with public transport during the 9-Euro-Ticket. The tracking results show that local public transport travel distances decreased by 37% after the 9-Euro-Ticket for solely 9-Euro-Ticket owners and by 30 % for travel pass holders. Further, discontinuing the 9-Euro-Ticket led to around one-third fewer active public transport users than those with the 9-Euro-Ticket but no travel pass before. The 9-Euro-Ticket caused the expected modal shift, but despite its low price, not all private transport trips were substituted, implying that such a policy instrument alone arguably does not suffice to achieve a successful mobility transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101148
JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • 9-Euro-Ticket
  • Flat-fare
  • Local public transport
  • Low fare
  • Natural experiment

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