Bavaria on a shoestring – but how long for?
(image via Matthew Black, CC License)
Ever travelled around Bavaria by rail? If so, you’ll have probably come across the Bayern Ticket: €29, five passengers, one day, all Regional Express (i.e. slow) trains and inner-city transport. Bargain – or should we say ‘Schnäppchen’. You can even use it for reaching cities just across the Bavarian border such as Ulm (Baden-Württemberg) or Salzburg (Austria). This ticket has been an incredibly popular way for young travellers to save money, with around 10.000 of them sold every day. Many even stand at a platform shortly before a train leaves, asking strangers if they have a Bayern Ticket which they could join in on. Train travellers even use the car pooling portal Mitfahrgelegenheit to pre-organise their journey, asking others to ‘sign up’ to the ticket with a quick call, then meeting at the platform and splitting the costs. These ‘artificial’ groups then sit in the same area of the train for when the inspector comes, but don’t really speak to each other on the journey.
Now, the Bayrische Eisenbahngesellschaft (Bavarian Rail Company) appears to have sniffed out these ‘Schnorrer’ (thrifty or stingy people – the verb being ‘schnorren’) and is implementing new measures to stop them. As of June 10th, a one-person ticket will cost €21 and each additional traveller pays €4 on top, making €37 for five travellers and a much more complicated purchasing process – much to everyone’s dismay. Is this another testimony to ‘deutsche Überbürokratisierung’ (German over-bureaucratization)? We’ll soon find out whether the ‘Sparfüchse’ (another word for thrifty people) can find a way around these regulations as well.