Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Flat-Rate Train Ticket

Very few people, even Germans, know of the Bahn (German railway) flat-rate deal.  So, here is the idea.

You go and pay 379 Euro a month or 4,090 Euro for a year.....and you get a second-class card which entitles you to travel twenty-four hours a day....seven days a week.....fifty-two weeks of the year.....anywhere in Germany on the railway.

You don't mess around with tickets or stand there at the machine trying to figure out X, Y or Z.  You have a card, and if the conductor stops you.....you show your card, and that's it.

You could stand up on a Monday morning....decide to travel from Frankfurt to Stuttgart.....spend two days there, then travel to Munich for a day, then return to Frankfurt by Friday, then on Saturday decide to travel to Hamburg.  No cost other than the flat-rate you pay each month.

A normal guy would analyze this.  With 379 Euro a month.....you'd typically spend half that amount for one full trip (round-trip) from Frankfurt to Berlin......on just one weekend.  So you'd have to travel at least twice a month on long-extended trips via rail....to the point where this might make sense.

It's not for everyone, and you rarely hear the Bahn folks talk about how many people have such tickets.  A first-class flat-rate?  Yes, there is such a card for that too....roughly 40-percent more than the 2nd-class ticket.

If you were a reporter or writing articles over Germany....requiring continual travel throughout each month.....the ticket would make sense.  For ninety-nine percent of society....no, it's not worth the cost.

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