Corporate ticket FAQ

Last updated: 08/06/2022

Part of the German government’s relief package, the 9-euro ticket is an opportunity for you and us to help change how we get around Berlin. Subject to the approval of the Bundesrat on 20 May 2022, the ticket will be available for the months of June, July, and August 2022 (€9 a month). This temporary offer will be valid throughout Germany and entitle holders to use all public transport services (excluding long-distance IC, ICE, EC trains).

General Information

What do corporate ticket subscribers need to do to take advantage of this offer?

Nothing – the price for corporate ticket subscribers will automatically be reduced to €9 a month for the period of the offer.

Can corporate ticket subscribers travel further during the period of the offer?

Irrespective of the fare zones they have purchased, corporate ticket subscribers can use public transport and local trains (second class) throughout Germany from 1 June to 31 August 2022. Long-distance trains (ICE, IC, EC) cannot be used.

Who and what can I take with me during the period of the offer?

The rules on who you can take with you remain the same in the fare zones covered by the corporate ticket subscription: up to four people (one of whom may be older than 14) on Mondays to Fridays from 8 pm to 3 am the following day, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. You can always take along children under 6, a buggy, luggage, and a dog. Bicycles, however, cannot be taken with you free of charge. There are no such concessions in the extended area of validity (i.e. all of Germany). In this case, you will need to buy additional tickets.

How does the offer affect the fixed contract period of the corporate ticket subscription?

The 9-euro ticket offer has no effect on the fixed contract period of twelve months.

Isn’t it better to cancel my corporate ticket subscription and buy the 9-euro ticket for the months covered by the offer?

No, there’s no need to cancel, as, just like everyone else, you’ll pay only €9 a month in June, July, and August 2022 and enjoy all the benefits of the 9-euro ticket.

Employees

Can corporate ticket subscribers continue to use their fahrCard during the period of the offer?

Yes – your current fahrCard remains valid and will be accepted as a ticket in the extended area of validity during the period of the offer.

Can employees sign up for a corporate ticket subscription during the period of the offer?

Yes – that’s still possible. All new subscriptions will also benefit from the reduction in prices and the extension of the area of validity during the offer period. The order deadline is the 15th of the month for sign-up on the online order portal and the 20th of the month for confirmation on the online administration portal.

How can employees use the 9-euro ticket for the offer period only?

If employees want to use the 9-euro ticket for the three months of the offer only, the ticket should be purchased as a normal monthly ticket in the app, at a ticket machine, or at a customer centre, not as a corporate ticket via the online order portal.

Employers

The BVG issues a full monthly invoice, covering all corporate tickets, to employers (invoice agreement). What’s changing in the offer period?

The price reduction during the offer period will be directly applied to the monthly invoices. For those who pay monthly, the subscription fee will be reduced. For those who pay annually, a one-time reimbursement of the difference will be made at the end of the offer period. Internal billing, taking into account the employer contribution, will continue to be carried out internally within the company.

The BVG directly collects the subscription fees from employees by SEPA direct debit (direct debit agreement). What’s changing in the offer period?

For participating employees whose subscriptions are debited directly from their personal accounts, the monthly fee will be automatically reduced. For employees who pay annually, a one-time reimbursement of the difference will be made at the end of the offer period. As before, the employer contribution will continue to be paid internally within the company.

The BVG invoices employees for the service charge once a year. Does this charge still apply during the offer period?

Yes. The BVG services covered by the service charge continue to be provided during the period of the offer. The charge remains calculated for the regular contract period (twelve months) and cannot be reduced pro rata.

What about the employer contribution during the offer period?

The mandatory minimum employer contribution remains unaffected as a fixed contractual component of the master agreement. The employer contribution continues to be exempt from tax and social security contributions. Please contact your financial advisor if you have any tax-related questions.

When the current corporate ticket agreements were concluded, the BVG and employers did not know that the corporate ticket would be reduced to a price of 9 euros a month for three months. If this reduction were permanent, it would make sense to consider a supplementary interpretation of the contract in which the employer contribution is reduced to 9 euros. Even in this case, it would not be necessary to cancel the contribution, as it is just a minimum subsidy that under Section 3(15) of German Income Tax Law (EStG) is tax-free up to the ticket price. The 9-euro ticket, however, is limited to a period of three months. For such a limited period, it cannot be assumed that the contracting parties would have agreed in good faith to cancel the employer contribution if they had considered this possibility when concluding the contract. Another argument against this assumption is that the holders of corporate tickets in this case would no longer have any advantage over purchasers of a regular VBB eco-ticket/monthly ticket during the offer period. Employees, however, have committed themselves to the long-term use of public transport by purchasing the corporate ticket, and employers have supported this by signing up for the corporate ticket agreement. It is therefore entirely justified that employees continue to benefit from the employer contribution during the offer period and are thus better off than users who buy a monthly ticket (for the first time).

In the case of new contracts, concluded in the knowledge of the planned 9-euro ticket, a discontinuation of the employer contribution in the offer period is not possible, since the VBB Fares Scale provides for this subsidy unchanged.

It is correct that, technically, there is no discount on the part of the BVG, since the price for the corporate ticket in the offer period is fixed by the planned law under federal law at 9 euros a month. The reduction of the ticket price to 9 euros, however, goes well beyond the price reduction provided for in the VBB Fares Scale for corporate ticket agreements. If the employer contribution is at least €10, the discount provided is only €4. If the employer contribution is at least €15, the discount is €8. For the corporate ticket for the Berlin AB fare zone, the price for 12 months, taking into account the discount, is €713 if debited monthly, €680 if debited annually. This equates to a monthly price of €59.42 if debited monthly and €56.67 if debited annually. Any benefit/counter-benefit relation between the discount on the VBB eco-ticket with the corporate ticket and the obligatory employer contribution is therefore not affected to the detriment of employers or employees by lowering the ticket price to 9 euros a month in the offer period.

The fact that the fare losses incurred by the BVG as a result of the 9-euro ticket will be compensated by the German government under the planned law does not change anything in the BVG’s relationship with employers and employees.

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