Friday, May 9, 2014

Buses, the 6500 Zone, and Wiesbaden

If you end up in Wiesbaden, and want to start using the local bus, trolley and light-rail system....there's some curious things that you might want to grasp early on.

Generally.....everything within the urban limit of include Bierstadt, Mainz and a dozen other towns.....all fall within the 6500 zone. That's important to remember, because it simplifies everything.  Going to Darmstadt or Eltville or's beyond the 6500 zone and you pay more.

At every major bus stop, there's a machine there to sell you tickets.  There's the one-way type, the all-day type, the 9-uhr (hour) type, the weekly type, the monthly type, etc.

Most folks walk up....punch the one-way the 2.60 Euro and it provides you with a ticket to get to your destination.  Doesn't matter if you change buses two or three or four times to get's covered with that ticket.  It's usually the first option that you see.

I should note this with all the machines....they all offer English language options (at the bottom).

The bus drivers?  They will sell you the same 2.60 Euro ticket as well.  All fine and dandy.

Is that the cheaper deal?  NO.

If you think this is an all-day the all-ticket ticket for 6.40 Euro.  Going to Frankfurt all's roughly 12.40 Euro for all day.

But here's this interesting deal.  Somewhere in your village or at RMV stations around Wiesbaden.....there's an option to bulk tickets in bulk (say five or more), and you pay only 10.40 Euro for five tickets, which they would usually be 2.60 EACH.  You can figure the math, but you save a fair chunk of money by buying bulk.  NO, the bus driver won't sell you this bulk package....if you were wondering.

The 9-uhr (hour) ticket.  It's an interesting choice too.  If you agree to only travel after 9AM, then you can buy the 9-uhr all-day ticket....for roughly twenty-five percent less than the regular all-day ticket.  Note, you have to pick that option and know the implications.  Don't travel at 0848 AM with this ticket, because there's a fine if you screw up like this.

An 9-uhr ticket for an entire month?  Yes....roughly 54 Euro for the entire month.  You can figure out, but it's basically saving you a minimum of fifty Euro if you were an active person traveling every single day.  You buy the 9-uhr pass and keep it on you.

Traveling into Mainz?  Yes, the 6500 zone includes all of the city of Mainz.

So you start to think about this.  Say you were a dependent wife of a Army guy, living in base housing, and just wanted to get out of the house daily, but no car (because of various costs).  Then you figure up that you do have some cash for this 9-uhr ticket.....maybe once or twice a week.  You buy the ticket....plan some outings, and do on a fairly cheap scale.

For an entire year, this 9-uhr ticket averages around 600 Euro.  You can do the's roughly $740.  Not bad for a full-year traveling situation, although it limits you to the 6500 area only.

The better place to get info or tickets?  Down in front of the Wiesbaden train a RMV booth (the glass building).  These guys generally speak good English and will sell you the cards that you desire.  Plus they have maps, and know the various discounts that you can use.

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