AIn view of the inflation and the energy crisis in Germany, CSU boss Markus Söder is calling for further relief for the population. These included an extension of the tank discount, a state fee moratorium and a follow-up regulation for the 9-euro ticket, the Bavarian Prime Minister told the “Bild am Sonntag”. “My suggestion would be a 365-euro annual ticket for all local public transport throughout Germany.”
“The tank discount must be extended over the entire winter,” demanded Söder. “If a winter housing benefit were added for all households, including pensioners, that would help most people noticeably.”
In addition, citizens should be relieved of state fees, said the CSU boss. “I think it’s right to refrain from all fee increases nationwide for the time of the crisis or even to lower them.” “Massive tax cuts” are also urgent.
In Vienna, a 365-euro ticket was introduced for local public transport in 2012. In Austria there is also a climate ticket with which you can “travel all over Austria in all participating public transport throughout the year”, according to the official website. It costs 1095 euros.
“I have never experienced such conditions as this summer”
Meanwhile, the two unions EVG and GDL were extremely concerned about the situation at Deutsche Bahn. “I have never experienced such conditions as this summer,” said the deputy chairman of the railway and transport union (EVG), Martin Burkert, the “Welt am Sonntag”. “I saw people literally fall off the train on a train from Rostock to Hamburg when the doors opened,” he said.
The rush of passengers on local transport since the beginning of June has led to severe wear and tear. “We see damage from the heavy use of the 9-euro ticket very early on: elevators are broken, toilets on trains no longer work, everything is simply put under a lot of strain,” said Burkert. “Many colleagues are already at the breaking point.” Sick leave increased. “We notice: The 9-euro ticket makes you sick.”
“This is the absolute worst case scenario”
The chairman of the train drivers’ union GDL, Claus Weselsky, spoke of a chaos this summer that he had never experienced on the railways. “This is the absolute worst case scenario,” he told the newspaper. The condition of the state-owned company is “catastrophic due to years of broken savings”. He again advocated clearly separating network and operations, at least within the group.
The state-owned group is having to deal with significant operational problems – which leads to many delays for passengers. According to the company, only 58 percent of long-distance trains reached their destination on time in June, and 88.5 percent of regional trains. The railways are trying to transport as many people as possible with additional trains on an overloaded rail network, railway boss Richard Lutz explained at the end of June and said with regard to delays: “Believe me: I suffer like a dog.”
In order to achieve more reliable operation and fewer disruptions to construction sites, Deutsche Bahn and Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing have announced a “general renovation” of the most important routes from 2024. “I expect that in the future we will be able to set the clock by the train again,” said the FDP politician, who declared the network renovation to be a “top priority”.