04. 06. 12. - 14:34
Kids to travel in eastern Austria for just 60 Euros a year
Children and teenagers will now be able to benefit from a unique regional public transport offer where they can get an annual pass for just €60.
The move is part of a joint project between officials in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland aimed at reducing the enormous financial difficulties that many families are currently finding in the current economic crisis.
The new tickets will go into effect from September and will include all networks and all routes in the eastern region at all times.
Family and youth minister Reinhold Mitterlehner said: "The new rules bring a clear advantage for 40% of all of the school children and apprentices in Austria and will also be an enormous financial relief for many families."
Details of the package were unveiled at a meeting between the minister as well as the three regional governors Erwin Pröll, Michael Häupl and Hans Niessl.
The minister continued: "With this initiative we are reacting to the reality of the world at the moment with a great number of patchwork families. Children and teenagers don't just have to work out how to get to school on a daily basis – they also need to work out how to travel between mum and dad and the grandparents."
The new card known as the Top-Jugend-Ticket will allow the 500,000 children and teenagers in the region to travel for just €60. The ticket includes travel at the weekends and on holidays regardless of how long the journey is or how often it is undertaken.
The current youth ticket which costs 19.60 Euros is only authorised for the distance between the child's home and school. This ticket is still going to be on offer as well.
The ministry hopes that the model will eventually be added Austria wide and said: "In June we will be holding talks with other regional authorities and optimistic that we can come up with a similar package for youngsters in these areas as well."
The card covering the three regions is expected to cost around €130 million a year which will be paid for by the ministry out of the so-called Familienlastenausgleichsfonds (FLAF), designed to relieve the financial pressure on families.