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Germany's €49 ticket gets an app


Germany's nationwide permanent €49-a-month all-you-can-ride ticket for local and regional trains now has an app of its own that not only sells and holds the ticket but offers a host of other features.

Hopefully, it will also iron out some of the remaining confusions and questions about the ticket program, which goes into effect on May 1st, with ticket sales starting April 3rd. Among the wrinkles: Germany's Bundesrat, the upper house of the legislature, must still give final approval at its meeting on March 31.

The app, called DeinDeutschland (Your Germany) will be the solution for many users, although in some areas local companies including Berlin and Cologne will include the ticket in their local apps. There will also be a chip card available for those without phones. The app also has access to timetables and routes for all the companies involved, including Deutsche Bahn.

The ticket, dubbed the DeutschlandTicket, is only available as part of a monthly subscription, and holders of existing local subscriptions will have theirs converted to the new ticket—some automatically, and some by applying with their local operator. For visitors, it will be necessary to subscribe, and then cancel when leaving Germany.

Remaining issues that still are not resolved are family travel and reduced fares for unemployed and retired people. The family travel issue is a significant one, since many of the existing subscription plans allow children and other family members to travel on the same ticket, where the new ticket does not.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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