Ticket to ride: Germany eyes public transit revolution

Category : Business

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. myriad / ˈmɪr i əd / (adj.) – very many or large in number

    I really can’t focus now. I have myriad problems.

  2. counterpart / ˈkaʊn tərˌpɑrt / (n.) – a person who has the same job or role as another one from a different company, organization, or country

    Our prime minister met with his international counterparts.

  3. paperless / ˈpeɪ pər ləs / (adj.) – without or not using paper; using computers instead of paper to record information

    Our company’s goal is to become 100% paperless in all of our business transactions.

  4. intercity / ˌɪn tər ˈsɪt i / (adj.) – traveling or happening between cities

    The intercity competition will include contestants from Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.

  5. resolve / rɪˈzɒlv / (v.) – to find a solution to a problem or difficulty

    We had a meeting to try and resolve the customers’ complaints.


Read the text below.

Germany wants to introduce a public transit pass that costs 49 euros ($47) a month and will be valid nationwide — if officials can agree on the funding.

The proposal follows a wildly successful “9-euro ticket,” which was on offer in Germany for three months this summer as part of efforts to help people switch to environmentally friendly transport, reducing gasoline use and helping combat inflation.

One of its biggest attractions for users is that it will be valid on all the country’s regional bus, train and tram networks, each of which has myriad fare options that many find baffling to navigate.

“With the 9-euro-ticket we showed: simplicity is better,” Transport Minister Volker Wissing said after a meeting with his counterparts from Germany’s 16 states.

Wissing said the new ticket would be paperless and could be bought for a single month or as a rolling pass. Like the 9-euro ticket this summer, it won’t be valid for intercity trains.

Questions over financing for the ticket still have to be resolved, however. Germany’s federal government has offered to subsidize it with 1.5 million euros annually; states have expressed a willingness to do the same, pending an agreement on federal funding for regional train services.

Greenpeace criticized the plan, saying 49 euros was too expensive for many people.

The environmental group claims its own research shows a ticket for 29 euros would allow double the number of users while requiring no additional subsidies compared to the more expensive proposal.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Transport Minister Volker Wissing said that “simplicity is better.” Do you agree? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s a good idea to have a universal ticket for all public transportation systems? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Germany wants to introduce a public transit pass that costs 49 euros per month. In your country, how much do train tickets cost per month? Do you think this is expensive, reasonable, or cheap? Why? Discuss.
  • How do you think the government should respond to the criticism of Greenpeace? Discuss.
Category : Business