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RMV AStA Semester ticket

You are on the page for the RMV semester ticket. The nationwide Deutschland Semester Ticket for students will be introduced from summer semester 2024. The information on this page will then no longer be valid!


What is the semester ticket?

The semester ticket is printed on the student ID card and is automatically paid for with the semester fees when you enroll or re-register. With this you can use all regional trains, S-Bahn, subway, trams and buses in the entire Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) area. The RMV area covers the whole of southern and central Hesse and is very large compared to other transport associations.

When is the ticket valid?

Since the summer semester of 2012, the student ID card has been valid as a ticket one month before the start of the semester in conjunction with a photo ID.

  • In the winter semester, the semester ticket is valid from September 1st
  • In the summer semester, the semester ticket is valid from March 1st

Why does the semester ticket exist?

“In an effort to address the social and economic concerns of students and to ensure student mobility using environmentally friendly means of transport, RMV and the AStA conclude the following agreement: […]”

says the preamble to the contract between AStA and RMV. Through the choice of students and its status as a corporation under public law, the AStA has the opportunity to conclude a contract of this type, which brings students significant financial advantages. It doesn't matter whether some people don't benefit from the deal if it can only be so cheap because all students buy the ticket. Since the ticket is used differently by students, everyone essentially pays the average price. Even for those who rarely use the ticket, there is a price advantage compared to buying single tickets, even if there is little use. In addition, the ticket is subsidized by compensation payments for trainee transport, which means the amount to be paid is even lower.

Especially when the ticket is already in your pocket, the inhibition threshold for using public transport becomes smaller. Lowering this inhibition threshold is another important reason for the semester ticket. Taking the tram is easier when you don't have to worry about fares and don't have to dig change out of your pocket every time you travel. It remains to be hoped that these experiences will have a lasting effect and that students will also rely on public transport in their later working lives when tickets have to be purchased at normal prices if employers do not offer a JobTicket.

With its approximately 25,000 students, TU Darmstadt contributes significantly to the daily traffic flows through the city and the surrounding area. If everyone traveled to the lecture in a private car, there would be much longer traffic jams and a stressful search for parking spaces would be necessary. We see the city and its streets not just as a transit area but also as a living space and the fewer cars there are on the road, the more pleasant the city is for everyone.

Scope of the semester ticket

The semester ticket is valid for a whole semester. Any number of trips are permitted within the printed validity period. Since the summer semester of 2012, the ticket has also been valid one month in advance of the start of the semester. This means that you can travel for a total of seven months with the ticket.

In which area can I travel with the semester ticket?

The semester ticket is valid on regional trains, S-Bahn, subway, trams and buses in the entire RMV area, as well as in the transition areas to the VRN and the NVV. You can not only use it in Darmstadt, but also drive it all over Hesse as often as you want.

The following map shows the validity area with the most important train stations. All border stations are also shown. This is where the validity ends and connecting tickets must be purchased.

Since August 1, 2015, the NVV transition tariff areas 8510 (Lichtenfels) and 8530 (Korbach) have also been included in the semester ticket: more information about the change.

Semesterticket Gültigkeitsbereich

If I want to travel beyond the semester ticket limits?

With the introduction of the upgrade ticket in June 2023, it will be possible to use local transport throughout Germany for the difference in price between the semester ticket and the Germany ticket. This amounts to 26.46 euros (as of June 2023). Further information about upgrading to the Deutschlandticket and a link to purchase can be found here.

If you only plan a few trips outside the RMV area each month, it may be cheaper to buy connecting tickets. If you want to travel beyond the boundaries of the semester ticket's area of validity, you can buy another ticket that entitles you to travel on a specific route from the last station in the area of validity ("Grenzbahnhof": border station). This also applies if you take a regional express through this station and the train doesn't stop there. Tickets are available at ticket machines or at Deutsche Bahn AG sales points. A distinction must be made between tickets from the DB and the local transport association. The latter are often cheaper, but can only be solved in the tariff area itself.

For those who often commute to Darmstadt from a region outside the RMV area, many transport associations also offer season tickets or connecting semester tickets.

Connecting tickets to the Rhein-Neckar transport association (VRN)

The VRN offers all students at TU Darmstadt a connection semester ticket. Those who regularly travel to Mannheim, Ludwigshafen or Heidelberg can buy a ticket for 225.60 euros (as of February 2023), which allows them to be mobile throughout the entire VRN (excluding West Palatinate) for one semester.

If you only travel occasionally to Heidelberg, for example, you can also use a ticket to continue your journey according to the DB tariff. This is cheaper than the ticket in the Rhein-Neckar transport association. However, it is not valid on trams and buses in Heidelberg and cannot be purchased if you are in the VRN area. So you have to buy the connecting ticket for both directions at the train station in Darmstadt. At the machine, select the ticket for the onward DB journey under the entire offer. Weinheim-Lützelsachsen is the starting station for the outward journey. For the way back you buy the second ticket directly to Weinheim-Lützelsachsen. If this is too complicated for you or you are unsure about the choice, you can also queue at the counter in the travel center (plan for a waiting time).

Connecting tickets to the Rhine-Nahe local transport network (RNN)

To the south and west of Mainz, the RNN area adjoins the RMV. If you also want to travel to Bingen, Bad Kreuznach or Alzey, for example, you can purchase a connecting semester ticket for the RNN area. The RNN connection semester ticket currently costs 221.10 euros per semester (as of November 2023).

Connecting tickets to the North Hessian Transport Association (NVV) area

The semester ticket is also valid in the transition area to the NVV, but not throughout the entire NVV. For example, you can use your semester ticket to travel to Bebra, but not to Kassel. Unfortunately, there is no connecting semester ticket for the NVV. If you still want to travel regularly beyond the limits of the semester ticket's area of validity, you can buy training season tickets as connecting tickets from the NVV. For occasional or spontaneous trips, a connecting ticket can be purchased on your cell phone. There is also a machine on the train on the cantus transport company.

Connecting tickets to the area of the transport association on the Bavarian Lower Main (VAB)

For those who only want to travel towards Aschaffenburg every now and then, there is also an option to buy connecting tickets without having to get off in Babenhausen. Connecting tickets to the VAB area can be purchased from the train attendant. To do this, you must actively contact the train attendant before the last stop in the validity area of the semester ticket (Babenhausen or Großkrotzenburg border station) and inform him that you need a connecting ticket. You will then receive a ticket at the RMV tariff from the border station to your destination in the VAB.

For example, if you travel from Darmstadt via Babenhausen to Aschaffenburg, from Babenhausen it would be price level 3, so that the single ticket for adults costs 3.40 euros (as of November 2023). The train attendant may not be required to pay a service charge. In the opposite direction you also have to buy a normal single ticket to Babenhausen from the machine. It's even easier on the Kahlgrundbahn trains (train line 56) because there are ticket machines in the vehicle, which then allow you to buy the ticket from Großkrotzenburg train station to the final destination. Unfortunately, it is not possible to sell single tickets from Babenhausen or Großkrotzenburg to VAB destinations at RMV or DB AG ticket offices.

Connecting tickets to the area of the Verkehrsgemeinschaft Westfalen Süd (VGWS)

For journeys towards Siegen, connecting tickets can be purchased from the train attendants from the Dillbrecht border station. Here, as with the other connections beyond the fare limits, it is important to contact the train attendant early, ideally directly on the platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the semester ticket cost?

The semester ticket costs €135.23 in the winter semester 2023/24 and is already included in the semester fees. Medical technology students have to pay the price of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. This amounts to €240.34 and is also included in the semester fee.

How do I get the semester ticket?

After transferring the semester fee to TU Darmstadt, you will receive your student ID card from the student office together with your semester documents. This is valid as a ticket in conjunction with an official photo ID (identity card, passport or driving license). The international student ID card (ISIC) is also valid as a photo ID and is available from the AStA.

Can the semester ticket be laminated?

No, this will invalidate the ticket. However, it is permitted to transport the ID in a credit card holder as long as it can be removed at any time. Many plastic cases contain plasticizers that slowly weaken the print.

Is my study certificate also valid as a semester ticket?

No, only the student ID card is also the valid semester ticket.

What if I have lost my student ID card?

If you have lost your student ID card, you can have a new student ID card issued at the student office (diamond 5) for a fee of 30.00 euros, which will then also contain the semester ticket. Further information can be obtained directly from Student Services or by calling 06151 16-26999.

Can I take someone with me?

No, it is not possible to take someone with you on the ticket. The semester ticket is a personal time card that can only be used by you. You are also not allowed to lend out your semester ticket.

What about my bike?

In principle, it is possible to take your bike with you on public transport services within the RMV. However, there is no right to take it with you. Individual transport companies reserve the right to restrict or even exclude bicycles from being taken on certain routes at certain times. You can find further information on the RMV website.

Now what about the Athena card?

In the long term, it is possible that the semester ticket will also be displayed on the Athene card, so that all important functions will then be combined on this card. Since there is not only good experience with this system at other universities and colleges, the AStA at TU Darmstadt is not planning any change. The classic paper student ID card is still a valid ticket in conjunction with a photo ID. The Athenecard does not have to be shown or carried when checked on buses and trains.

How does it work with the AirLiner?

You can use the bus to Frankfurt am Main Airport, but you need a supplementary ticket, which you buy when boarding. It's still worth it because you can get directly to Terminals 1 and 2 without having to change trains and with WiFi. Real tariff professionals who, for example, are leaving for a semester abroad and have applied for a refund of their semester ticket, then send their semester ticket by post to the AStA.

Can I also travel in InterCity with the semester ticket?

No, the semester ticket is not valid on long-distance trains (IC, EC, ICE). Only local trains, S-Bahn and subway trains, trams and buses may be used in the RMV area.

Is there a supplementary ticket for the InterCity?

At the beginning of 2005, the framework agreement between RMV and Deutsche Bahn, which enabled the use of IC/EC trains throughout Hesse using a supplementary ticket, expired. However, the railway did not want the contract to be continued in its current form. Since then, there is no longer a surcharge card that can be used to purchase the use of IC/EC trains.

Why can students at the University of Marburg and students at the Evangelical University of Darmstadt use InterCity?

In order to find a follow-up arrangement after the surcharge card was eliminated, the Hessian ASten had been sitting at the negotiating table with the railway since spring 2005. However, in these very tough negotiations, the railway developed price expectations that are simply unacceptable for most companies.
However, the situation at the University of Marburg (very good connection to the IC network, high acceptance and strong use, clear positive effect for a large number of students) and at the Evangelical University of Darmstadt (study locations in Darmstadt and Treysa, Northern Hesse) is completely different , which is why the two universities came to a conclusion based on the last offer from Deutsche Bahn. In the future, however, all students at these two universities will pay the railway up to €50 per semester in the solidarity model.

Can I travel first class?

If you really want to, but then you have to buy a supplementary ticket from the RMV.

Reimbursement and social reimbursement

read more here


The upgrade ticket is unfortunately no longer available as of 21 March 2024. We apologise for this. From 1 April, the Deutschland-Semesterticket will apply, allowing all students to travel throughout Germany at no extra cost.

Problems with ticket control

What if I forget my semester ticket and get checked?

The RMV will then charge an increased transport fee. You will receive a receipt asking you to pay €60.00. With this receipt, your semester ticket and a photo ID, you can reduce the amount to a processing fee of €7.00 at an RMV mobility center. If you have any problems, you can contact the AStA at .

Help, my ticket has been confiscated!

Unfortunately, it happens that inspectors do not accept a semester ticket in conjunction with an official photo ID as a valid ticket. If your semester ticket is confiscated, please inform us about the situation by email at . Please attach a photo or scan of the certificate of increased transport fee that you will receive from the control staff. We will then clarify the next steps and support you in getting the costs for the new issue in karo5 reimbursed.

Passenger rights

What are passenger rights in rail transport?

The Passenger Rights Act has been in force since July 2009, improving passengers' rights in the event of delays and train cancellations. Previously, students with a semester ticket were excluded from some passenger rights on the grounds that the semester ticket represented a significantly reduced ticket. With the new semester ticket contract, which applies from the summer semester of 2011, the same rights now apply as to all other holders of season tickets for trainees.

Information about the various passenger rights can be found under the following links.

What compensation is available for delays?

Anyone traveling by train with the semester ticket can receive a refund of 1.50 euros if their destination is delayed by at least 60 minutes. This is a set refund rate that applies to all season tickets in the RMV. Because refunding such small amounts requires a lot of effort, refund amounts are only paid out starting at 4 euros. However, compensation cases can be collected within the validity period of the ticket and then paid out together.

Can I also use the InterCity if the regional train is delayed?

If a delay of at least 20 minutes is expected at the destination, a long-distance train (IC, EC, ICE) can also be used. It is important that this is not a train that requires reservations (e.g. ICE Sprinter). However, you can't just get on the long-distance train and take a ride, you have to buy a corresponding single ticket for long-distance transport. In long-distance transport, this can also be solved by the train attendant. The costs for the trip can then be claimed. Some train attendants are accommodating and will let you ride without the bureaucratic hassle if you ask nicely before boarding.

What if there are no trains running at night?

If it is expected that the train with a scheduled arrival time between midnight and 5 a.m. will be delayed by at least 60 minutes, taxi costs of up to a maximum of 80 euros can be claimed. This regulation also applies if the last scheduled train of the day is canceled if the destination cannot otherwise be reached before midnight. However, before you get into a taxi, you should first use any alternative services that may be available (e.g. emergency bus transport).

Where can I get the refund form?

The refund form can be found here as a PDF document or in the RMV mobility centers.

Is there also compensation if the bus or tram is delayed?

The above regulations only apply to S-Bahn and rail traffic. There is a 10-minute guarantee for subways, trams and buses in the city of Frankfurt, the city and district of Offenbach, the city and district of Darmstadt-Dieburg. For delays of more than 10 minutes, you will receive compensation of 50 cents per trip. After 9 p.m., taxi costs of up to 15 euros can also be reimbursed. Please note that the 10-minute guarantee is a voluntary service, so delays due to force majeure (e.g. strikes, storms) are excluded from reimbursement. The refund request can be submitted online. After the application has been checked and approved, you can collect the money from one of the RMV mobility centers within three months.


Invented in Darmstadt: the semester ticket based on the solidarity model

Before the ticket was introduced in 1991, HEAG offered a discounted ticket for students, but this only applied within the city area. Students from outside the area still had to purchase additional train or bus tickets from other operators. Although this situation improved after the Darmstadt-Dieburger Verkehrsverbund (DDV) was founded, as all bus lines in the district could now be used with one ticket, train tickets still had to be purchased additionally.

The Darmstadt student ticket was born from the idea of ending this dilemma in a simple way. As the first of its kind in the Federal Republic, it should make it possible to use all means of transport in and around the university location using just your student ID card. A contract was concluded with the DDV until it was replaced by the agreement with the RMV, which set the amount for each student, assuming an average intensity of use. In addition, this ticket was subsidized by compensation payments for trainee transport, which made the amount to be paid even lower. This principle has not changed to this day.

The Darmstadt semester ticket was closely monitored over the course of the first semester by the responsible examination authority for fares in local public transport, the Darmstadt Regional Council. Counts and surveys were intended to ensure that the subsidized portion of the ticket was not too high - after all, the federal government pays for it. This question has now been clarified and the semester ticket is recognized as a “normal” card, the billing modalities of which can be understood.

Through the choice of students and its status as a corporation under public law, the AStA has the opportunity to conclude such a contract, which provides students with significant financial advantages. It doesn't matter whether some people don't benefit from the deal if it can only be so cheap because all students buy the ticket.

How this became the RMV-AStA semester ticket with the VRN transition area

To explain this, however, we have to look a little into the history of the origins of the RMV and the semester ticket: When the RMV preparatory society set out to persuade local authorities (i.e. districts and independent cities) to become members, there was still talk of a scope of application in the area between Aschaffenburg, parts of Rhineland-Palatinate around Mainz, southern Hesse and the area of central Hesse that is now in the RMV. However, it quickly became clear that some of the local authorities addressed had no increased interest in becoming a member of the RMV. With some political wrangling, today's network area came into being. The RMV had to lose ground, especially in the neighboring federal states, so that the alliance's dominance was over at the state border. Aschaffenburg, although clearly aligned with the Rhine-Main economic area, was left out; in Rhineland-Palatinate, only the urban area of Mainz was connected to the RMV, as there was already a local collective agreement between Mainz and Wiesbaden anyway. In the south, the Bergstrasse district showed no inclination to join the transport association because it was already organized in the neighboring Rhine-Neckar association.

The situation was improved for the Bergstrasse residents by creating a transitional arrangement between the associations: RMV tickets were allowed to be sold from parts of the district for trips to the greater Frankfurt area (and areas south of it). This corresponds to price level 6 of the RMV, so no network cards (price level 7) can be purchased from these areas, i.e. citizens of Bergstrasse must, for example, purchase a DB AG card to Marburg, which is significantly more expensive. In reverse of the RMV tariff logic, this means: An RMV network card with price level 7 does not entitle you to travel to the transition areas. This must be paid individually. If a Bergstrasse resident wants to move alone within the district area, they have to buy a ticket from the Rhein-Neckar Transport Association (VRN) (difficult, right?).

For the AStA at TU Darmstadt it was clear that only a full connection of these areas to the semester ticket made sense. Due to Darmstadt's decentralized location in the RMV area, Marburg and Fulda can be reached at a considerable distance with an RMV network card, but according to the RMV's wishes, the end would have been 15 kilometers south of the city area; The Darmstadt-Dieburg district border runs here. So we did everything we could to get permission to travel in the transition areas, which was ultimately achieved without any additional costs. The Darmstadt university location was the only one whose students also enjoyed free travel in the transition areas to the VRN. Even today, no network card with this functionality can be purchased from RMV!

However, the Bergstrasse district was not particularly well served by the transitional arrangement: only the northwestern part of the district area (Bergstrasse and parts of the Ried) was included. To juggle a bit with the nicely numbered RMV tariff areas: Zwingenberg, Bensheim and Heppenheim (No. 45), Lorsch and Einhausen (No. 46) and Bürstadt, Biblis and Groß-Rohrheim (No. 47) have since been connected. So not all citizens in the district were able to use the RMV's offers for a long time, for many people two tickets were still necessary: instead of VRN and DB (possibly also FVV / HEAG), now one for the VRN and the other for the RMV, what was also sometimes even more expensive than before. In addition, local bus operators had significant problems with the RMV tariffs, which is why there was temporarily a transitional tariff area from the VRN to the RMV (everything still clear?!). It was clear from the start that this confusing and unpleasant situation had to be changed.

Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) and Verkehrsverbund-Rhein-Neckar (VRN) extended the transitional regulations with effect from June 1, 1997. In addition to the existing areas, four more areas were set up: No. 67 (Worms Stadt), No. 4810 (Lampertheim, Viernheim), No. 4830 (Laudenbach, Hemsbach, Weinheim) and No. 4850 (Überwald). In addition, tariff area No. 45 (Bensheim) was expanded to include the communities of Lautertal, Lindenfels and Fürth (n.v.).

Since the contract with the RMV continued to exist unchanged, the TH students were not allowed to travel to these new areas! Bad thing, the traffic department thought and immediately started negotiations with the RMV. The other universities were immediately involved because it was clear that only a common solution could be found. As of October 1st, 1997, TU students will also be able to use public transport in this area for free with the new student ID card.

Permanent contract between RMV and AStA from April 1st, 2011

The summer semester of 2011 marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the semester ticket, because until now all contracts between AStA and RMV were valid for a limited period. This means that the continuation of the semester ticket had to be renegotiated at regular intervals. This was a sign that the RMV-AStA semester ticket was only viewed as a model project. With the new contract it has been possible to secure the semester ticket permanently.

This has the particular advantage that the prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future and from the summer semester of 2014, price changes will only be made in the same proportion as for the normal monthly tickets in the trainee tariff. So far, the RMV has entered the race with large price increases in the regular renegotiations.

In addition, agreement was reached that all students in the RMV area can travel in the same valid area. From summer semester 2011, all students in the RMV area can also use the transition areas to the VRN and the NVV. Some universities have additional areas of validity (e.g. in the NVV or the IC). This is because the students at these universities have made additional agreements. However, students there also have to pay more for their tickets.

Since August 1, 2015, the NVV transition tariff areas 8510 (Lichtenfels) and 8530 (Korbach) have also been included in the semester ticket.

The “Upgrade Ticket” offer has been available for Germany Ticket holders since June 1, 2023. This gives students the opportunity to purchase a Germany ticket at a cheaper price because the contribution they have already paid for the semester ticket is deducted from the price of the Germany ticket on a monthly basis.

What's the future like?

The mobility representatives of all Hessian ASten will increasingly cooperate together in the State ASten Conference (LAK Mobility), since the RMV-AStA semester ticket is not only based on a solidarity model of the students of the TU Darmstadt, but is only made possible because all universities are in the RMV participate.
In addition, together with organizations such as the RMV, the fzs and LAK Mobility, we are committed to nationwide mobility, which the Deutschlandticket gives us hope for - at prices that are fair to students. We are therefore currently calling on the state of Hesse in a petition to offer a solidarity education ticket for €19 per month. We look forward to receiving signatures!

Information for students from other universities

Students at other universities that are not in the RMV area cannot purchase a semester ticket for the RMV. If you want to travel in the RMV, you can buy reduced weekly or monthly tickets at the trainee rate. To do this, go to an RMV mobility center or one of the numerous sales points with your student ID. There you will receive a customer card for trainees that you can use to purchase the discounted season tickets.