The most important information on the semester ticket

Are you uncertain about the area of validity of your semester ticket? Do you want to know which trains and busses you can use? Do you need information on the entrainment of children, bicycles or pets? Great! This page provides all necessary information on your semester ticket.

Local trains

You can use the local trains in Northern Saxony, Bremen and beyond. Cities in the surrounding area like Münster, Magdeburg, Lübeck, Paderborn and many other can be travelled to as well.
You can find a map with all cities down below. You can travel in the presented area with local trains in the second class.
The usage of the long-distance trains (IC/EC/ICE) is excluded. However, there is one exception! You can use the IC between Bremen and Norddeich (Mole) or Emden Außenhafen.
Moreover, you should pay attention when travelling with the S-Bahn of Hamburg: The semester ticket is only valid on the sections S3 Stade – Hamburg Hbf and S31 Neugraben – Hamburg Hbf.

Local traffic

The usage of busses, trams and the metro does not apply for the whole area of the local train transport but for the VBN area. Moreover, you can use the bus transport in the areas of the VEJ and the VGC. Look on the map below for an overview.
Please remember: You cannot use busses, trams etc. in cities outside that area. You must pay a regular ticket in cities like Hamburg and Hannover.
Nocturnal partiers also need to pay attention on the following fact: In general, you can use the overnight busses. The only exception are the so called “Nachteulen” (night owls”) – alias Disco Busses – which are not included in the semester ticket.

On the road to Groningen

The lovely city Groningen was incorporated in our semester ticket at winter semester 2018/2019 but is not mentioned on the map. To get there, you can take the regional train between Leer – Weener – Groningen and partly buses as rail replacement service to Groningen.

Campus Card validation

At the beginning of each new semester, you will need to validate your Campus Card at the designated machines at the Haarentor and Wechloy campuses. To avoid problems if the core of the card is damaged and the machine cannot read your card, remember to do this in time, i.e. a few weeks before the start of the new semester. We as the AStA cannot issue you a replacement document in case of loss or damage of your Campus Card. In this case, please contact the SSC (Studierenden Service Center). All further information about the Campus Card can be found here: https://uol.de/studium/campuscard

Regulations for entrainment

On trains, buses and streetcars in the VBN area as well as on buses in the VEJ/VGC areas, you can take your children and teenagers up to and including 14 years of age free of charge. For all other areas covered by the Semesterticket, children up to and including five years of age can travel free of charge. For children between the ages of 6 and 14, an additional children’s ticket must be purchased within these areas of validity. For young people aged 15 and over, a regular ticket must always be purchased.

Reimbursement of the semester ticket

The financing of the semester ticket is based on the principle of solidarity. Hence students who do not necessarily need the semester ticket must also pay their contribution. However, there are certain circumstances which allow a reimbursement of the semester ticket, like a semester abroad or a break semester, illness or exmatriculation. You can find further information on the reimbursement here

FAQ about the semester ticket

Why has the semester ticket fee for the winter semester 20/21 increased despite Corona?

The fee schedule for the winter semester 20/21 was decided in the meeting of the student parliament on December 4, 2019. The Student Parliament no longer had a quorum at the time of the Corona crisis, i.e. in March, due to a lack of opportunity to constitute itself after the election at the end of January (the constituent meeting did not take place until July). In the course of negotiations with the VBN, the price from the winter semester 19/20 was finally retained, but this could no longer be included in the fee regulations due to the lack of a quorum of the student parliament. The price difference of 3.20€ was included in the contribution order for the summer semester 2021. 

Regardless of this, we have legally binding notice periods in our contracts with the transport companies, which had already expired for the winter semester 20/21 at the time of the Corona crisis. In addition, any cancellation of the statewide or VBN semester ticket must be preceded by a ballot or representative survey. 

The Corona-conditioned presumably lower current use of public transport will then presumably be reflected in the price for the semester ticket for WiSe 21/22, since the agreement on the new price of the semester ticket is always valid for two semesters. 

The fee schedule for the winter semester 20/21 was decided in the meeting of the student parliament on December 4, 2019. The Student Parliament no longer had a quorum at the time of the Corona crisis, i.e. in March, due to a lack of opportunity to constitute itself after the election at the end of January (the constituent meeting did not take place until July). In the course of negotiations with the VBN, the price from the winter semester 19/20 was finally retained, but this could no longer be included in the fee regulations due to the lack of a quorum of the student parliament. The price difference of 3.20€ was included in the contribution order for the summer semester 2021. 

Regardless of this, we have legally binding notice periods in our contracts with the transport companies, which had already expired for the winter semester 20/21 at the time of the Corona crisis. In addition, any cancellation of the statewide or VBN semester ticket must be preceded by a ballot or representative survey. 

The Corona-conditioned presumably lower current use of public transport will then presumably be reflected in the price for the semester ticket for WiSe 21/22, since the agreement on the new price of the semester ticket is always valid for two semesters. 

Why has nothing been changed about the semester ticket despite Corona and the associated switch to online teaching?

The contractual provisions for the Semesterticket are more long-term and not designed to deal with such a sudden crisis as Corona. Changing the scope of the semester ticket would have required a termination of the contract or an amendment to it, which was not possible due to time constraints alone. Furthermore, we as AStA could not have done this alone, but only together with the ASten participating in the VBN or the nationwide semester ticket.

It should also be noted that starting in the winter semester, at least some teaching will probably take place on site; furthermore, the ticket is not only intended for trips to the university, but also to enable students to cope with everyday life, which for many students requires the use of public transportation.

I don’t need and/or can’t afford the semester ticket. Can I have the fee refunded?

The semester ticket follows the principle of solidarity: By paying the price for the semester ticket in solidarity, a minimum level of mobility is to be guaranteed for all students. If this character of solidarity did not exist, those students who are existentially dependent on the ticket would not be able to afford it.

Under certain conditions, however, a refund of the semester ticket fee is possible. You can find them here.

Why has the semester ticket fee risen continuously?

On the one hand, this is due to the gradual expansion of the area of validity. The original VBN-Semesterticket was initially extended by additional routes such as those to Hanover, Osnabrück, etc., until the state-wide Semesterticket was finally introduced in 2018 following a ballot. In the year there was another expansion, the route to Groningen. 

But even independently of these area expansions, the price has increased. The transport companies justified this with, among other things, increased tariff costs, increased fuel costs, increased usage figures and decreasing subsidies from the public sector. To what extent one accepts all arguments as valid and thus the price increases is certainly debatable. That the student bodies remain completely unaffected by the rising costs for the use of public transport (according to the Federal Statistical Office between 2000 and 2018 alone by almost 79%) is unfortunately unrealistic.

In the further commitment for cheaper prices of the semester ticket, it must therefore not remain with the negotiations with the individual transport companies; fundamentally, the glaring lack of subsidies for public transport is to be scandalized and this is to be counteracted at the state and federal level. 

You have further questions, problems or complaints? 

If you have any questions, you can always contact the staff of the AStA, of course also in case of complaints. Since the Semesterticket is always changing, this is always desired! Your criticism or suggestions will help to restructure the Semesterticket according to the interests of the student body. You are therefore cordially invited to contact the AStA with your concerns.