Sabina talks about how she travels around Germany and the choices a student faces when last minute train fares maybe too expensive.
As a student I’m always interested in finding new ways to save money on tickets. If I want to travel from Cologne to Stuttgart for example, I have two options: I can either use the train or travel in a private car share (in Germany this is known as “Mitfahrgelegenheit”).
The latter is often cheaper and I don’t have to buy my ticket weeks ahead, (it’s non-binding and therefore the better option for spontaneous trips). Car sharing is roughly €40 return, whereas by train it would cost me €40 Euros each way, and this is despite the fact I have a Bahncard 25 – so as a student, you quickly come to your decision, so, most of the time I go for the private mitfahrgelegenheit.
Although I never had any seriously bad experiences, I would sometimes just prefer taking a bus.
BUT here is the problem; there is no real national bus line in Germany.
Compared to other European countries, Germany lacks a national coach and bus company which connects German cities with each other. On holidays in Ireland, Scotland or Italy I mostly moved around the country by bus and experienced it as a cheap and comfortable way of travelling around.
I once searched for something comparable here in Germany. I found two bus lines that offer national connections, “Touring (Eurolines)” and the “BerlinLinienBus”. Touring has one line that serves a route from somewhere North to somewhere South. About the Berlin thing I`m not sure anymore, but I think it was always from xy to Berlin or the other way around. And I think to remember, that I somewhere read that a national bus transfer in Germany is not allowed because it would be a too big business competition to the DB!?! I think to remember that this argument was based on an act from the 1930s, or at least from a long long time ago.
This is really weird, isn’t it? And it is for me another point that is annoying about Deutsche Bahn! If this is true, I can’t believe the high prestige position of DB in Germany.
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