The semester bus ticket ("Semesterticket" in German) is the result of an initiative launched by the Student Representatives' Council in summer semester 2012. "A steadily growing enrolment figure at means that many of our fellow students rent flats have to find accommodation farther away from the city centre. As they need to use the bus to get to university, they have no choice but to spend thirty euros a month – the price of a monthly but pass – on transportation. A semester ticket significantly reduces their financial burden," explains Karin Bugow, the then Student Senator and initiator of the project. An online vote with a participation of 5,426 students (54.69% of the total student body) received 4,825 (88.92%) 'yes' votes. "We are very pleased with the outcome and see this overwhelming yes vote as recognition of all the effort and work that went into this initiative," said Maximilian Karg, Chair of the Student Representatives' Council at the time.
The conditions for the semester ticket are set out in an agreement between the Student Services Association (Studentenwerk) and the bus operator, VBP. The agreement has been approved by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology. Under the agreement, which will initially be in force until 31 March 2015, all students are required to pay ten euros per semester to the Student Services Association. From 1 April onwards, students can then hop on any bus in town – with the sole exception of the "Oberhausbus" service between the castle and the old town hall. However, since the student ID cards issued by the University do not include a photograph, it is important to carry additional photographic ID, as only the combination of student ID and photo ID are valid as a bus pass.
Dr Andrea Bör, Head of Administration, also praised the initiative: "The vote in favour of the semester ticket is a strong show of solidarity of students who live right in the town centre with those who have no choice but to use the bus for their commute between their home and the campus. In my view, the semester bus ticket arrangement between the Student Services Association and VBP is very worthwhile."
Stephan Magnus Weichenrieder, one of the members of the organising student committee, remarked: "We are very pleased that, in cooperation with the Student Services Association and VBP, we have succeeded not only in creating a semester ticket for all students, but creating a semester ticket that is the most affordable of its kind in Germany." He added: "We hope that this integrated bus pass will carry student life into other parts of Passau, farther from the city centre, and play its part in creating a stronger bond between the student population and the city's inhabitants."
Frequently Asked Questions about the ticket have been answered in the University blog (http://blog.uni-passau.de/). Please note that the blog is in German only.
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