Traveling by bus and train could cost even less for schoolchildren and trainees in the Main-Spessart district in the future. The so-called 365-euro ticket has been available in the Verkehrsverbund Mainfranken (VVM) since summer 2020. Young people can use this annual pass for local public transport not only on their way to school or their training company, but also in their free time. There is no age limit. The Free State of Bavaria bears two-thirds of the costs incurred by the ticket. According to the district office, around 2,000 people bought such a card last year.
At the moment the question on the agenda in some towns and communities is whether tickets for young people should be further promoted. The debate is about whether there should be a subsidy of another 200 euros per ticket. In this model, the person’s home municipality and the district would each pay 100 euros. This concept has already been implemented in the neighboring district of Wrzburg. Main-Spessart could now follow this example.
Ursprung wants to tackle a turnaround in mobility and votes for the subsidy
The discussion was apparently initiated by inquiries from citizens and district councillors. “In the last mayor service meeting, the topic was addressed and the municipalities were asked to think about it,” reports Frauke Beck, spokeswoman for the district office, when asked by this editorial team. Actually, all cities and communities should report back by last Saturday. However, that did not happen. “Unfortunately, there is still a lack of significant feedback, so we don’t have a complete picture,” said Beck on Monday. There is still “no clear trend in the decision of the municipalities”.
However, some municipalities have already made their decision. For example origins. The municipal council there voted in favor of the subsidy with one dissenting vote. “Everyone is talking about the mobility turnaround,” says Mayor Volker Hemrich. “At some point I have to take the first step.” 24 people from Ursprung currently have a 365-euro ticket.
Neuhtten demands cooperation with the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund
Hemrich wants to help young people financially and encourage them to use public transport more than the previous generation. Ursprung has the advantage that it is centrally located in the district and has a good bus connection. Sometimes a bus runs more than once an hour to Karlstadt or Marktheidenfeld, from where you can go in all directions.
“Everyone is talking about the turnaround in mobility. But at some point I have to take the first step.”
Volker Hemrich, mayor of Ursprung
Things are a bit different in Neuhütten. “We are on the outskirts of Main-Spessart,” says Mayor Bernd Steigerwald. Many students and trainees want to go from there in the direction of Aschaffenburg. The annual ticket is no longer valid there. Cooperation with the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund is needed, says Steigerwald. The municipal council has therefore spoken out against subsidizing the ticket. Another reason was that the ticket could only be bought in Gemnden and in Würzburg, according to Steigerwald. “That can not be.” The ticket should also be available from the municipalities. Nevertheless, the head of the community emphasizes: “In principle, we think such tickets make sense.”
Rieneck wants to make the place more attractive
In Obersinn, the proposed subsidy model was unanimously rejected with a view to the unattractive PNV connection. Municipal councilor Olaf Wrfel commented on the idea at the meeting: “The train connection only works twice every five days a week. The train is often canceled without reason, there are long delays or the connecting train is gone.” In Burgsinn it was a slim majority that refused to fund the tickets. Among other things, the council members argued with the scarce money of the municipality. Mayor Robert Herold thinks: “If you think about what it used to cost, 365 euros is quite cheap.” He too would like an attractive PNV, but sees the federal and state governments as in demand, and not necessarily the local authorities.
Around 40 students are already using the 365-euro ticket in Rieneck. The city council has spoken out in favor of further funding. “Of course, it would not be in the inventor’s interest if it ended up staying with 42 users,” says Mayor Sven Nickel. He hopes that more people will use the cheaper ticket in the future. Basically, the city council is currently very busy making the place more attractive and ensuring population growth. “That’s a building block,” says Nickel.
The district council ultimately decides
At the next meeting of the committee for district development, mobility and digitization on May 9th, the attitude of the municipalities and the district to the ticket should be on the agenda, according to the district office. “The next step is the decision in the district council,” said Beck. This determines whether the subsidy model is actually implemented.