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TRAIN TRAVEL

Train travel in Austria: 6 ways you can save money

Travelling by train is better for the planet, but it’s not always the cheapest form of transport. Here’s how to travel by train in Austria – and save money.

Train travel in Austria: 6 ways you can save money
Train travel might not always be the cheaper option in Austria, but there are ways to save money. (Photo by Pixabay)

We all know that fossil fuel emissions are bad for the environment and that we must do more to slow the impacts of climate change.

The problem is though, that greener forms of transport, like trains, are not always the cheaper option. And in times of high inflation, every penny (or cent) counts.

So if you’re looking to ditch the car but worried about your bank balance, here are seven ways to save money when travelling by train in Austria.

READ MORE: Five European cities you can reach from Austria in less than five hours by train

Klimaticket

The Klimaticket is an annual pass that allows access to all public transport across most of Austria. On the official website, it’s dubbed as the “mobility of the future”.

Part of the aim behind the ticket is to encourage more people to travel by public transport, while also making it more affordable. 

Users can choose to buy a regional, cross-regional or nationwide Klimaticket. Tourist train routes are not included in the scheme, such as the Waldviertelbahn, Wachaubahn, Schneebergbahn and Schafbergbahn.

The Klimaticket costs €1,095 per person, per year. For youth (under 25) and seniors (over 65) the price is €821.

Also, anyone that purchases a pass from July 1st to the end of 2022 gets one month free, so the Klimaticket will be valid for 13 months from the date of purchase.

If you travel regularly by public transport in Austria, then buying the Klimaticket is a good way to save cash. But unless you plan to make the most of the annual pass, it is a lot of money to pay in one go.

Find out more about the Klimaticket at klimaticket.at.

FOR MEMBERS: Discover Austria: 19 ways to make the most of autumn this year

ÖBB Einfach-Raus-Ticket

ÖBB is Austria’s national rail operator and has several schemes aimed at saving money on transport.

One such scheme is the Einfach-Raus-Ticket, which allows unlimited travel for groups (up to five people) travelling together on local and regional trains for one day.

The price is calculated by the number of people in the group, so that it becomes cheaper if more people travel together. For example, a ticket for two people is €35 but is €39 for three people. 

Find out more at oebb.at.

Wiener Linien annual pass

The Wiener Linien is the company responsible for the public transport network in Vienna and offers an annual pass.

The annual ticket is very affordable at €365 – working out at just €1 per day – when purchased in full. It’s also possible to pay for the pass in monthly instalments but the ticket will then cost €396.

For seniors, the annual pass is €235 when paid in advance, or €246 for the monthly payment option.

To compare costs, the standard price of a single trip in Vienna is €2.40. So if you use public transport (bus, train or tram) almost every day in the city, the annual pass can save you lots of money.

Find out more about the Wiener Linien annual pass at wienerlinien.at.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re under massive pressure’: Austria’s train operator ÖBB to increase prices

(Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

ÖBB Vorteilscard

The ÖBB Vorteilscard is for people that travel by train often and like to have flexibility. It can save travellers money by applying a discount every time a ticket is purchased with the card. 

On ÖBB trains, card holders can buy standard tickets for half price, as well as get up to 50 percent off private railways in Austria. Plus, you can save 15 percent on cross-border travel to countries like Germany, Croatia and Hungary.

The Vorteilscard 66 is available to everyone, regardless of age, and costs €66 for one year.

The Vorteilscard Family costs just €19 a year and allows travel for two adults and four children up to the age of 15.

The Vorteilscard Jungen is for people under the age of 26. The price is also €19 for one year.

Find out more about the Vorteilscard at oebb.at.

ÖBB city tickets

As well as the specific discount cards already mentioned above, ÖBB offers city tickets for the main cities in Austria.

Travellers can choose between day, weekly or monthly tickets, depending on whether they live in the city or are simply visiting for a limited time. This usually saves money when compared with buying single tickets.

For example, the one-day Linz Card costs €15 for an adult and €8.50 for a child (aged six to 15). It includes access to public transport, free admission to museums, plus a ticket to a theatre production, concert or event.

Find out more about oebb.at.

READ NEXT: The six most spectacular train trips in Austria

ÖBB Sparschiene Ticket

If you don’t want (or need) to invest in a specific train pass, then a quick and easy way to save money on train travel in Austria is with a Sparschiene Ticket. 

These are discounted tickets for ÖBB trains that are usually applied to journeys outside of peak travel times. 

At the time of writing, The Local found a Sparschiene Ticket for a journey the next day between Innsbruck and Salzburg for €44.90. The cost of a regular ticket on this route goes up to €52.70.

However, looking two weeks ahead, we found a Sparschiene Ticket on the same route for €24.90.

If you can be flexible when you travel, or are able to book ahead, it’s well worth planning a train trip around a Sparschiene Ticket.

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UKRAINE

ÖBB and City of Vienna extend free train travel for Ukrainian refugees

The measure has been extended to the end of October. It includes travel on ÖBB trains and Wiener Linien services.

ÖBB and City of Vienna extend free train travel for Ukrainian refugees

Austria’s national rail operator ÖBB has confirmed Ukrainian refugees can continue using public transport free of charge until the end of October.

Ukrainians must show a travel document as proof of status to use the transport network.

Additionally, Ukrainian refugees can continue using Wiener Linien services and the Verkehrsverbund Ostregion (VOR) public transport for free until October 31st.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: The best websites for cross-Europe train travel

However, from November, only Ukrainian refugees arriving in Austria for the first time will be able to travel for free.

The announcement was made on Tuesday October 4th in Vienna after a consultation with the Ministry of Transport.

City Councillor Peter Hacker (SPÖ) said the decision to extend the offer on the Wiener Linien was “consistent with the nationwide decision of the ÖBB”, reports Die Presse.

Stadt Wien made the announcement on Twitter and added: “At the same time, we support the efforts of the refugee coordinator for an Austria-wide and long-term solution to travel costs for people in need. Currently, only costs for certain journeys can be reimbursed.” 

According to Die Presse, ÖBB has issued around 390,000 free tickets to Ukrainian refugees since the start of the war in February.

FOR MEMBERS: Train travel in Austria: 6 ways you can save money

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