Local public transport is still suffering from the consequences of the pandemic.

While the debate about a successor regulation for the 9-euro ticket is in full swing and the financing of the mobility change propagated by the federal, state and local authorities is anything but guaranteed, the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) announces two innovations for the region: a new app to be available from October 17th and a new discount offer on January 1st.

Ralph Euler

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung, responsible for the Rhein-Main section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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The app, called RMVgo, should be clearer and easier to use and make it easier to search for connections and buy tickets.

The new "RMV savings pass" offered at the turn of the year can be purchased for ten euros and 30 days and offers a 25 percent discount on short trips, single and day tickets for adults.

The discount function can be loaded into the RMVgo app or onto an e-ticket.

The purchase is possible via the app, at ticket machines and in sales outlets.

Bicycles, scooters and cars can be booked

The price reduction is tailored to the increasing number of home office workers and weekend commuters who do not use the bus and train every day since the beginning of the pandemic.

"The discount offer is particularly worthwhile for passengers who commute from the region to Frankfurt several times a month and cover somewhat longer distances," argued the RMV supervisory board when it announced the price reduction last June.

The transport association has invested around five million euros in the RMVgo app.

New features include the first advance sale of season tickets, such as weekly and monthly tickets, and an alarm function that informs users of delays and disruptions to the connection they have selected.

In addition, customers can choose between a list and a map view for the timetable information and save their favorite connections.

According to RMV, a map on the start screen provides a direct overview of the nearest stops.

Rental bicycles, e-scooters or car-sharing vehicles can be booked for the onward journey from the destination station, which are displayed on the on-screen map.

In this case, the user of the RMVgo app is forwarded to the application of the selected provider.

In the coming months, RMV Managing Director Knut Ringat announced on Wednesday that additional content and functions would be added to the RMVgo app;

for example the on-demand offers of minibuses that can be called up when needed.

"One app for everything," said Ringat.

The previous RMV app, which has been available for twelve years, will no longer be available in app stores from October 17, but can still be used until the end of the year.

According to the transport association, it has been downloaded more than four million times since 2010.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, digital offers have become even more important, said RMV Managing Director Ringat.

Monthly sales via the app amount to up to 4.5 million euros, which corresponds to around ten percent of the total sales of the transport association;

in other German transport associations, the average share is only four percent.

Ringat wants to continue RMV's "digital success strategy" and hopes to be able to increase the proportion of tickets sold electronically to 30 to 50 percent in the next few years.