Since June 1, 2022, people in Germany have been able to use public transport for three months with the 9-euro ticket at a ridiculous price. The terms and conditions are clear: the inexpensive monthly pass is only valid for local transport throughout Germany, i.e. it is limited to buses, trams, underground and suburban trains as well as regional trains and regional express trains. According to Deutsche Bahn, journeys with long-distance trains such as the IC or the ICE are explicitly excluded. What the company doesn’t reveal: There are exceptions to this rule.
As the editorial network Germany reports, holders of the 9-euro ticket have the right to continue their journey on a long-distance train under certain conditions. However, this special regulation is limited to the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The reason: there is the legally stipulated, so-called mobility guarantee. This is intended to ensure that users of public transport reach their destination on time, even in the event of bus and train delays. If a bus or train is at least 20 minutes late, passengers can switch to the IC and ICE.
With the 9-euro ticket in the ICE
This mobility guarantee also applies to the 9-euro ticket. If your desired connection in NRW is delayed accordingly, you can switch to long-distance trains. However, you must first buy a regular ticket and have a receipt issued. You later submit this to the Mobility Guarantee NRW together with a corresponding reimbursement form and you will then be reimbursed the fare. You should note that this regulation does not apply if the delay is due to natural phenomena or strikes.
Outside of NRW there is another exceptional situation in which you can board an IC with your 9-euro ticket – without taking any further action. On the Gäubahn route between Stuttgart and Konstanz on Lake Constance, Deutsche Bahn also accepts the cheap ticket thanks to a special arrangement between the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport and the railways.
The 9 euro ticket is not valid here
Incidentally, there are also exceptions in the opposite direction: On selected routes, you can also use long-distance trains with a regular local transport ticket, but not with the 9-euro ticket. According to the report, this affects the routes Bremen-Norddeich Mole, Elsterwerda-Berlin, Berlin-Prenzlau, Potsdam-Berlin-Cottbus, Dillenbirg-Letmathe and Erfurt-Gera. As the railways explained when asked by the editorial network Germany, talks are currently underway with the authorities in the respective countries in order to possibly overturn this special regulation.