Will all students soon ride bus and streetcar free of charge?

Will all students soon ride bus and streetcar free of charge?

For years, the city's student council has been making a big deal out of it: It wants free or at least heavily discounted bus and streetcar tickets for all students in the city.

A year and a half ago, the city council – in the run-up to the local elections – unanimously decided that an expert should examine the additional costs and provided 10,000 euros for this purpose. A working group was formed, followed by discussions with all parties involved. By the end of September, eight selected experts were able to submit an offer. In the near future, the city will inform the council members about the result of the private treaty.

So things are moving forward, albeit in small steps. In principle, all the parliamentary groups understand the students' wishes. But the crucial questions are: How expensive will it be – and who should pay for it?

Now there is justified hope that the state will contribute to the costs – because the ie is also playing a role in the state election campaign. The CDU is promoting a "Lower Saxony school ticket." All schoolchildren and trainees should be able to use public transport throughout the state for the equivalent of one euro a day.

Similar tones at the SPD. The government program calls for free student transportation for upper secondary schools as well – and heavily discounted fares for students, trainees and co. "If the state were to bear a large part of the costs, that would be a nice solution," thinks Christoph Bratmann, parliamentary group leader of the SPD in the city's council. Even halving the costs for the students "would be a step forward," says Bratmann: "For the city, of course, that would be a feat of strength. But with state funding, perhaps even more would be possible."

Currently, all students in Braunschweig up to the tenth grade receive a free student ticket, as long as their route to school is at least two kilometers. The total of more than 15,000 senior high school students, vocational school students and students whose way to school is shorter than two kilometers have to pay for their ticket themselves: 47.40 euros a month.