The Deutschlandticket for students
Starting from 1st May 2023, students of the University of Cologne can purchase an upgrade for 15,28 € on the KVB app. The upgrade is valid only on a monthly basis, so it needs to be purchased each month. The upgrade expands the semester ticket to nationwide public transportation in Germany. However, please note that you must always carry both your semester ticket and your upgrade ticket with you and be able to present them both if requested during a ticket inspection. Like the semester ticket,
the upgrade ticket is also non-transferable. For more information, please visit https://www.kvb.koeln/tickets/deutschlandticket/bestandskunde-studierende.html (english version not available yet)
IMPORTANT: When purchasing the upgrade, it is important to know that it is not valid for a period of 30 days from the date of purchase but only until the last day of the month. This means that if you purchase the upgrade ticket on 30th May, it will only be valid until 31st May, and you will need to purchase the upgrade again on 1st June.
Furthermore, we support the demand of the Landes-AStA-Treffen NRWs (LAT NRW), the assembly of all student unions in North Rhine-Westphalia, regarding the introduction of a nationwide, solidarity-funded 129 € semester ticket. Students are still greatly affected by the inflation crisis, which is why as the AStA of the University of Cologne, we demand financial relief for participating in public transportation. A petition calling for the swift implementation of this model has already been launched.
We are in constant touch with the KVB and strive to achieve an offer that meets the needs of our students!
A brief explanation of the semester ticket
Since the winter semester of 2008/09, all students of the University of Cologne have been able to use buses, trams (U-Bahn and S-Bahn) and trains (RE, RB) throughout North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) (excluding IC, EC, and ICE trains) for free. Upon enrollment, you will receive your UCCard, which serves as a ticket on one hand for public transportation on the buses and trams of the local transportation company Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB), within the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg transport network which constitutes the area of Greater Cologne (see the map below) and on the other hand and as an NRW ticket with validity to travel on RE and RB throughout the whole federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. For more information, please visit https://uccard.uni-koeln.de/index_eng.html.
Accompanying persons or bicycle transport outside the VRS area are not included! So, if you travel with a friend beyond the VRS area but still within NRW (e.g. Düsseldorf), as the holder of the NRW ticket, you are eligible for free travel. However,
you can only take your friend to the border of the VRS area (in the case of Düsseldorf, until Leverkusen). Beyond the border of the VRS area, the accompanying person must purchase a separate ticket for the journey until the person reaches the final destination.
INFORMATION FOR FIRST SEMESTER STUDENTS: Unfortunately, you can only use the semester ticket starting from the semester start date (for summer semester 1st april and winter semester 1st October).
If you experience any issues with public transportation, you can contact the Nahverkehr Schlichtungsstelle for arbitration. The Nahverkehr Schlichtungsstelle is an independent institution of the Verein Schlichtungsstelle Nahverkehr e.V. Its members include the Verbraucherzentrale NRW (Consumer Center NRW), the Verband deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (Association of German Transport Companies), and the transport companies in North Rhine-Westphalia. They provide their services free of charge to passengers and are often involved when an objection to a fare surcharge (fare evasion) is rejected by the issuing transport company, or for delays, cancellations, and other questions regarding public transportation in NRW.
You can find more information on the following page:
http://www.schlichtungsstelle-nahverkehr.de/doc12270A (english version not available yet)
VRS tariff area
Validity area of the NRW ticket
However, please note the following extensions of the coverage area to certain regions outside of NRW
When and where can I take a bicycle with me?
Within the VRS area, you are allowed to take a bicycle with your semester ticket from Monday to Friday from 7pm until the end of service (3 am), and on weekends and holidays throughout the day. However, exceptions can be made by the staff at any time, for example, in case of overcrowding or similar situations. Additionally, strollers and wheelchairs always have priority. These regulations also apply to e-bikes, pedelecs, and non-foldable or unfolded electric scooters (NOT e-scooters).
Outside the VRS area and on weekdays before 7 pm you need to obtain an additional ticket.
When am I allowed to take people for free?
Children under 6 years are generally transported free of charge. In addition, on weekdays from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. the following day, as well as on weekends and holidays, you can take one person over 14 years of age and up to 3 people between 6 and 14 years of age free of charge. This rule applies only within the VRS area.
What should I do in case of a lost student ID card?
Our colleagues at the Infopoint of the Mensa Zülpicher Straße and some other service points report found cards to the UCCard support. Once a report is received, you will be automatically notified by email that your UCCard has been found and where you can pick it up. Regardless, please contact the Chip Card Office in case of loss or theft: The card must be blocked in this case to prevent any misuse.
What should I do if I get checked and forgot my student ID?
If you forgot your student ID and get caught without a ticket on a bus or train, inform the inspectors that you forgot your ticket. The receipt issued by the inspectors states a fine of €60 and looks exactly like the regular notice, BUT what matters is what is entered into the device. If the non-carriage has been written down into the system, you must enter your data within one week on a portal developed by KVB and the university administration. You can find the portal at:
For further questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the office of the hardship committee.
The Härtefallausschuss of the student union of the University of Cologne is responsible for deciding on refund applications for the semester ticket fee according to the hardship regulations of the student union of the University of Cologne. The hardship committee is located in the building at Universitätsstraße 16 on the first floor.
Monday – Wednesday: 09:00 am – 01:00 pm
Thursday: 09:00 am – 12:00 pm
Download: Application form for the hardship committee
(https://portal.uni-koeln.de/sites/international/aaa/92/92pdf/Zulassung/wichtige_A ntraege/92pdf_Antrag_8_Haertefallausschuss_AStA.pdf) (english version not available yet)
Download: Hardship regulations of the student union of the University of Cologne (https://am.uni-koeln.de/e32508/am_mitteilungen/@e32774/AM_2020-06_Haertefal lordnungStudierendenschaft_ger.pdf) (english version not available yet)
Download: VRS common tariff
(https://www.vrs.de/fileadmin/Dateien/Downloadcenter/Tarif/VRS_Gemeinschaftsta rif_26052023.pdf) (english version not available yet)