Starting May, travelers in Germany will be able to use local public transport and trains anywhere within the country for 49 euros (53 U.S. dollars) a month, APA reports citing DW.
"We have cleared the way for the Deutschlandticket," Oliver Krischer, who was chairing a meeting of transport ministers from the federal states on Thursday, told a press conference after the event.
The heavily subsidized transport pass will be jointly financed by the federal and state governments, with each chipping in 1.5 billion euros annually.
The Deutschlandticket is a follow-up on a very popular initiative in 2022, when people could travel anywhere in Germany with a 9-euro ticket. The scheme, which was intended as a temporary inflation relief measure, lasted for three months and was a huge success, with 50 million tickets sold.
The Deutschlandticket, though more expensive than its predecessor, will be permanently available for travelers.
Students at German universities will also be able to use the Deutschlandticket by paying an upgrade from their subsidized semester ticket. According to Krischer, the ticket will initially be integrated into the existing fare structure as an "upgrade solution."
With the old 9-euro ticket last summer, trains were at times heavily overloaded, pushing railway staff and physical capacities to their limits.
The rail infrastructure is approaching a dangerous "tipping point," Deutsche Bahn (DB) Board Member Michael Peterson warned earlier this month.
Due to understaffing and insufficient wages, the trade unions Verdi and EVG, on Thursday, announced a nationwide strike for next week. It is expected to paralyze not only rail but also air and water traffic across Germany on Monday. "This has never happened before in this form," Verdi said in a statement.
(1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollar)