In the past few months, the student council of OTH Amberg-Weiden has been actively involved in the realisation of a semester ticket for our university by the Studentenwerk Oberfranken.
To this end, we conducted a survey among all students in the summer semester of 2022. You can find the results of the survey below. Due to the majority approval of around 69%, the student convent brought the wish for a semester ticket to the Studentenwerk Oberfranken. The Studentenwerk then started negotiations with the public transport companies, which the student convent was allowed to attend. There, an agreement was finally reached in several, sometimes heated rounds of negotiations.
We tried to take your arguments into account in the negotiations, such as a relatively cheap ticket, as much range as possible and good bus and train connections. After several rounds of negotiations with a total of seven different transport companies (VGN, DB, Wies, Länderbahn, RVV, Agilis, etc.), we were able to reach a ticket that, despite inflation and price increases, comes very close to the 2018 attempt, which we consider a success. You can find the framework conditions below, along with an FAQ, some of which goes into more detail about the reasons for introducing the ticket.
The ticket will initially be introduced for one year as a test phase, i.e. the semester ticket will initially only be available for two semesters. After that, an extension of the area or a new price will be negotiated, or the ticket will be discontinued. The continuity of our ticket is possible.
The ticket includes all buses in the districts of Neustadt an der Waldnaab and Amberg-Sulzbach, as well as the respective city buses within Amberg and Weiden. In addition, the two university locations are connected by rail, both via the Schwandorf transfer station and via Neukirchen.
Bus line 455 between Amberg and Weiden is not included in the ticket, as a comparatively poor offer was made for this single connection. The cost of the entire Weiden city bus, for example, is 8 euros per semester, while only line 455 would have already cost 11 euros per semester. In addition, line 455 only runs a total of four to five times a day between Amberg-Weiden (Neues Rathaus), as you can see from the VGN's online timetables.
The bus lines in the districts of Schwandorf and Tirschenreuth are also not included in the ticket. This would have meant an additional increase of at least another 20 euros for the final price, which is why a balance was struck between area and price.
The ticket will cost 90 euros per semester. Broken down to the month, that means 15 euros. Comparable prices for monthly tickets in the regions only start at significantly higher prices. So you can say that our semester ticket is comparatively cheap.
The current semester ticket, which is offered directly by the Wies company for the Weiden city bus, costs 100 euros per semester and is not valid during the lecture-free period. In the negotiated semester ticket, the ticket for this area costs only 8 euros and can be used indefinitely.
The total amount of 162.00 euros (student union fee 72.00 euros + semester ticket 90.00 euros) is due upon enrolment or re-registration for further studies and is paid upon re-registration in the PRIMUSS portal.
The semester ticket will be introduced from the winter semester 2023/2024 and will therefore be valid from 1 October 2023. The period of use over the entire semester is six months. After exactly one year, the contract with the transport companies will expire, as it is a test phase. Either new negotiations will then take place or the ticket will be discontinued.
You automatically pay for the semester ticket together with your semester fee. Your student ID then serves as your ticket. You just have to make sure that you revalidate your ID every semester. This means that the end date of the current semester must be written on the bottom right of your ID card.
You can find the validation stations for your student ID card at the following locations:
Amberg: In the foyer of the Bilbiothek
Weiden: In front of the Student Office
The semester ticket is a solidarity solution. Every student at OTH Amberg-Weiden pays for the ticket with the semester fee. A voluntary semester ticket was ruled out by the public transport company at a very early stage.
Payment of the total amount of 162.00 euros is a prerequisite for enrolment.
The semester ticket can offer you various advantages. On the one hand, for the first time we are creating a reliable and cost-effective connection between the two locations Amberg and Weiden. For you, this means that you can easily attend parties, regulars' tables or other events such as career fairs at the other location. If you did this before, you paid 18.40 euros per trip with Deutsche Bahn without a BahnCard. The one-way journey between the two locations is therefore equivalent to two full months with our semester ticket.
Furthermore, the ticket can be an improvement to the current housing and parking situation, as students can also find cheaper housing in the vicinity of Amberg or Weiden thanks to the ticket. The semester ticket can create new employment opportunities for your weekends, as you can now explore the Upper Palatinate, go on hiking tours more easily or visit fellow students living in the surrounding area.
Another important aspect is the independence from the Deutschlandticket, as it is not foreseeable whether this will be available permanently and, if so, at what price. With a semester ticket, a stable price level is possible in the long term.
At the beginning of the negotiations, this was discussed with the Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg (VGN) as well as the Regensburger Verkehrsverbund (RVV). However, the connection to Nuremberg or Regensburg would have meant more than double the current price in each case, which was no longer acceptable from our point of view and could also have led to legal problems.
All Bavarian students will pay only 29 euros for the Deutschlandticket from 1 September 2023. Politicians are planning to upgrade the Semesterticket to a Deutschlandticket. This means that those of you who decide to buy a Deutschlandticket will only pay the difference. The monthly costs for our semester ticket amount to 15 euros. This means you would only pay 14 euros more per month for a Deutschlandticket.
We do not yet have more detailed information about the exact procedure of this upgrade. As soon as we have this information, we will send it to you.
The impulse to launch a ticket came from the 2022 survey. The contracting and negotiating partners for the ticket are the Studentenwerk Oberfranken and the public transport companies. The student council was given the opportunity to participate, but is not a contractual partner.
As mentioned at the beginning, a survey was conducted in the summer semester of 2022 to decide how to proceed with the semester ticket. In addition to the general approval/rejection, some further data was requested that was important for the decision-making process.
Please understand that this information is only being published now. Earlier publication before or during the negotiations would have endangered our negotiating position and thus resulted in a worse/more expensive ticket.
1187 students took part in the survey, with 69.2% in favour of a semester ticket. You can find this and all other survey results below.