https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneBa

Buying a train ticket in Germany? Forget it!

This so made me laugh!

https://scontent-mad1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/t31.0-8/11267162_1141481639211868_6504359949603467429_o.jpg

...and it is the reason why, as soon as touch down in Munich ( my "home airport"), I queue up at the MVV ticket counter to buy from a person instead of using the machines. The system is impenetrable even for us natives...

June 2, 2015

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v43ng

Even the locals have problems. While we all use the public transport a lot, we don't know how to buy tickets. Almost everyone has some kind of flat rate arrangement, so if visitors ask for ticket advice, we are as new as they are to our own system :D

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pseudocreobotra

Even the person behind the counter sometimes doesn't know which ticket would be the best in your situation x:

And as soon as you intend to cross the borders of a "Verkehrsverbund", any hope is lost. You can only buy tickets for the local VV and maybe (if you you live in a 'border area') the ones of the neighboring one too. So, if you want to travel to another VV, you are supposed to get off the train at a station near the border, buy another ticket and continue your journey... You wanted to stay on the train a bit longer? Bad luck, the next one will be here in an hour.

There are actually some good tickets that cover large areas for a reasonable price but finding them in the interfaces of these machines... Ugh. You REALLY have to know what you're looking for and how it's called and even then it easily takes 5 minutes to find it.

There was no happier day in my life than the one where I finally received my semester ticket which allows me to travel in the whole "Bundesland" without any need for further tickets.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneBa

Aw, it's the small joys in life that make all the difference ;-)

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

There was no happier day in my life than the one where I finally received my semester ticket which allows me to travel in the whole "Bundesland" without any need for further tickets.

But was it valid for all trains within that Bundesland? ;-)

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pseudocreobotra

Well, it's limited to Nahverkehr (no high-speed trains such as the ICE) but other than that... Yes, I can even use many private railroads, buses etc.! It's a great thing and also very reasonably priced. I know people who enrolled at a university only to get access to this ticket (it's only available for students).

I pay less than 26 euros per month for an area that covers (among others) Aachen, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Essen, Münster and Bonn.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

OK, so not much has changed since the early "noughties" when I enjoyed this privilege (and I even think it was free back then). It's not too much fun being stuck in a stationary commuter train outside Delmenhorst or somewhere like that, but that can of course happen to high-speed trains as well...

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abendbrot

Has your "Verkehrsverbund" no "Anschlusstickets"?

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pseudocreobotra

Only for one of the neighboring VV and even these are not sold everywhere. It's pretty messy and annoying.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Syvar

The machines are not the only problem ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4X_JsEwjHA

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneBa

Excellent :)

Argh, damn you - I'm going to have buy that book now!

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nebelung1

He's talking soo fast! :p

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thwain

The video has captions. Click on the 'cc' button in the viewer to turn them on.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moonfriend

That helps, but they're auto-generated by Google and often wrong.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jschornick

Es gibt eine Transkription des Videos auf dieser Seite:

http://www.bodowartke.de/geschichten

Suche nach "Mein Reisetagebuch".

June 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frosch0066

It doesn't help either that each German city seems to have their own unique tariff system. And when you've finally figured it out and found a machine that works, it spits your crumpled 10 Euro note back out at you. By which time you've missed your train.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

The system in Karlsruhe is based on combs (like we're bees or whatever). You first have to find out where you want to go, then you have to count the number of combs you need to cross to get there (including starting and destination comb), and then you have the number of your tariff. Except if you stay in the core comb or cross it, since that one counts two. They you have to decide how many trips you buy or whether you rather want a day ticket or a month ticket or if you are eligible for a reduced price (because you're a minor, a senior, you have a BahnCard or it's before 9 o'clock), or maybe you already have a ticket for a shorter trip, then you need a complement ticket, and the whole time a nice display tells you how many minutes you have left to figure everything out before the tram arrives. And they are never late. :P

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhaaz

They are never late

I think you missed a big fat "/s" there. Have you seen the construction and how it affects the tram? Just sayin'.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

Yes, I live in the middle of it, and they are still on time whenever I take a tram. They also finish their constructions always according to plan, even if it's 3 hours before the new routes are supposed to be in effect. If there's a problem, they announce it over the displays. I don't understand all the whining, they do a damn good job keeping everything running smoothly.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

So true. I have a good idea about the system in Berlin and the surrounding area (VBB). But whenever I go to Hamburg (HVV), I scratch my head and choose to walk instead if possible.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kunstkritik

I don't get the problem, I think these automats are actually pretty easy to control

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frosch0066

Not that easy to control. Rather than taking my glasses out of my bag, I once tried to enlarge the writing on the touch screen with my thumb and forefinger, as you can do on phones and tablets. Luckily nobody saw me...

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

I don't think it's hard to get a valid ticket, but to find the tariff that saves you the most money is a science even the people in the ticket center haven't mastered yet.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kunstkritik

I would say jein to that. I think the first time it might be a bit tricky dependent of the special ticket you need but tbh the biggest annoyance of those ticket machines is that you don't feel you can take your time, because there are most likely 2 or 3 people behind you that want a ticket which means you hurry and that leads to simple mistakes

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frosch0066

In my experience it's more annoying to have that person in front of you. The one who seems to take forever clicking through all options, cancelling, and starting over again. All the while your train is being called.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camms1234

Totally agree, it's not rocket science! Edit: I was replying to Kunstkr1tik

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

But your picture only shows one of the old machines where the number of buttons is large but finite. Nowadays, with digital touch screen displays, we can afford deeply nested menu structures and a lot more options to "improve" the user experience :)

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneBa

WOOOOSSSSSHHHH! ... I think I was just run over by a freight train...

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jgstcd

The system can be a bit bizarre. I remember I once managed to save some money by buying a ticket for two stops beyond the one where I was planning to get off.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iron_bun

It's called travelling short in the UK and it's been banned (by the train companies). You can get fined for it, though I've no idea how they'd enforce it.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abendbrot

In Germany: The guys who do this get fined as hard as persons who does not have a ticket at all. In some cases those guys could get a harder fine because in some cases the company can show that those guys had the intention to use the service without paying correctly (Vorsätzliches Begehen einer Straftat). The traffic companies can show you the evidence that you had no ticket for a certain time. How can they do this? - In some towns there are trains which can lock the ticket stamping machines. The controllers enter the train, wait a while and then they start controlling. So -in theory- nobody could complain about a too short time for stamping the tickets.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joshuawilliamdun

I know that, in the part of England that I live in, we have to pass through a barrier in order to gain access to the platform (into which we have to feed our ticket, and it then reads the ticket and registers that you're using the service), and then after getting off at our destination, we have to do it all again. Because of the way the tickets are made, you can only successfully pass through barriers at your departure or arrival station (as well as any in between.) If you don't have a ticket and get caught you get fined bigtime. Sometimes in rush hour they leave the barriers open though, and late at night also. Where I'm from, you generally can travel short past 10/11pm at night and get off and out of the train with no problem (and if you get caught, you claim to have 'accidentally overslept', and just act sad and confused!)

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abendbrot

You speak about subways. Some cities in Germany have a subway system but not all. I think it is crasy, by reading the subway's rules for some subways I learned that it is not allowed to travel a circle in the system without checking somewhere out and in again. If you do it, nothing happen. I guess it is only for the statistics.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/velvelajade

I'd rather just buy a monthly ticket that allowed me to travel all of England on any train I want - including to Scotland and Wales. If they want to charge me more to do that, fine. I hate this nonsense about having to get it right and get only the exact ticket from starting point to end point because I often change my mind mid-sentence and then go further than I originally was planning on, or get off earlier and walk further. If I ever more to England, I'll probably just get better at cycling and just skip the nonsense rules of the trains.

June 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abendbrot

It is in researce to offer a ticket which is inteligent like one of the London transport tickets. You just have to travel and the card/ticket writes down all your trips. In the end of a certain period the card calculate the best price for all your trips. Some will be collected to a "day ticket" others to a "week ticket", others to a "single trip ticket". The only worse fact is, you don't know the price for your trips before.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iron_bun

Trains are a mystery to me. If I want to go somewhere then the train I need is listed under its final destination. Then one week I get a train directly to my destination and a few weeks later I have to go via somewhere and change. I don't know the train network that well so I always have to ask how I should be travelling.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mia.24

haha! #true

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneBa

Isn't it just! Only last year, I found myself standing in front of one of these blue monsters when I started a conversation with the woman behind me (also local), and we ended up laughing over the fact that, despite several university degrees between us, we could NOT work it out ;-)

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aline_Hein

New tutorials on youtube: For Dummies: How to buy tickets in Germany. haha Seriously, it would be awesome to have tutorials on this :D

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorel90

Interesting. I did not have problems in Berlin, I liked the machines.

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhoenixRising18

YES! When I first got here I was so lost! I was chewing out the machine when a very kind gentleman came up and explained some of the tickets to me in English. XD I ended up giving up and just buying a monthly card downtown. :P

October 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/velvelajade

I don't mind buying a monthly card if it is good for any where I want to go, no matter what distance from starting point. Germany so needs to change how their train tickets work. You can't stop off at a store en route, get back on and then go to your home far far away. You have to buy a ticket to that store and then buy another one to your home. Its ridiculous. lol

October 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

This picture is pure gold and I can confirm that it is appropriate as well ;-)

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duonks
  • 1975

Slots for "EC-Karte", "Geldkarte" and "Arschkarte" hahaha :-D

June 3, 2015
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