Public Transport & Mobility
Germany and the Ruhr Area have a good public transport system. You can easily get almost everywhere you want by train, bus, tram or underground. The cities in the Ruhr Area are connected by numerous "Regionalbahnen", "Regionalexpressbahnen" and "S-Bahnen". You can use all public transports with the same tickets. Please note, that it is not possible to buy a ticket on every train (sometimes you have to buy it at the station).
Price category A is valid for the entire city area of Duisburg or Essen. For 3-4 stations you can use the ticket "Kurzstrecke" (short distance). There are tables of prices at the stations with information about the short distance destinations. To go from Duisburg to Essen (or the other way around) you will need price category B. If you are intending to use the bus or tram regularly it is worth purchasing a monthly season ticket (Ticket1000 or Ticket2000). There is also a wide selection of tickets with special deals for groups and weekend trips. You can also take the shuttle bus between the campuses of Duisburg and Essen, which you can use with your student- or staff-ID.
Tickets can be purchased at vending machines or at designated sales points. Be sure that you stamp your ticket using one of the orange machines at the beginning of the platform just before you enter a train. On trams and undergrounds (but not in the "S-Bahn") these machines are inside the trains. On the other hand, tickets can't be bought on any of these trains. A missing or unstamped ticket is considered "fare evasion" and is subject to a fine of 60 euros.
Doctoral candidates, after paying the semester and social fees, can use the semester ticket obtained at registration as a ticket, employees have the opportunity to purchase the job ticket.
» Information on the jobticket ("Firmenticket")
For further information on prices and timetables visit the following websites:
- DB - Deutsche Bahn (German Rail)
- VRR - Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (regional transport provider)
- DVG - Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft
- Ruhrbahn - transportation company Essen and Mülheim
Driver Licence and Your Own Car
If you are the owner of a valid driver licence from an EU member state or the European Economic Area (EEA), you are allowed to drive a vehicle in Germany. The driver licences do not have to be retyped into a German document. They keep their validity until the official date of expiry (restrictions exist for driver licences for trucks and buses). However, you can re-register them voluntarily.
A valid driver licence from another country than a member of the EU or EEA has to be retyped into a German driver licence, if you are intending a long-term stay, because otherwise they lose their validity after six months. The details are determined by the respective mutual agreements between Germany and the country of issue. Here you will find a list of countries that have concluded such an agreement.
For more information visit the website of the ADAC.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is strictly penalized in Germany, under certain circumstances with the revocation of the driving licence. You even do not have to drive your car, you can already receive a fine for riding your bike with 0,3 per mill, which can have an impact on your driving licence. You will find a list of the penalties and fines as well as a "Bußgeldrechner" (fine calculator) on the website of the ADAC.
If you are driving a car in Germany, you are obliged to put on the seat belts. To make a phone call while you are driving a car - without a hands-free speaking system - is prohibited. If you are involved in an accident, you must remain at the scene until the police arrives. Hit-and-run driving is severely penalized in Germany. Have the damages carefully recorded by the police and then report the accident to your insurance company. Any time you cause damage with a moving vehicle to another (e.g. while parking your car), it counts as an accident and must be reported.
If you bring your own vehicle with you, you should not forget the following documents:
- international driving licence or a licence issued abroad; depending on country, it should include a German translation (after 6 months at the latest you will have to apply for a German driving licence)
- green insurance card (confirming German insurance cover)
- confirmation from your third-party insurance provider at home that you have not had any accidents (this should entitle you to a rebate on your German third-party insurance policy)