Overcrowded trains, bicycles that are not taken, aggression against railway employees - all of this was expected when the 9-euro ticket was launched. More or less all of that happened, says a DB staff representative. There is praise for the passengers, even if many of them still have orientation problems.
After the start of the 9-euro ticket, the railway union and staff representatives of Deutsche Bahn draw a mixed interim balance of the Pentecost weekend. As expected, the ticket triggered a big rush on the regional trains, said the Vice-Chairman of the General Works Council DB Regio, Ralf Damde, the editorial network Germany (RND). Nationwide, this has led to significantly more cases of overload, Damde said after talks with railway works councils nationwide.
"The feared physical assaults against the railway staff did not occur, but there were verbal attacks," said Damde. The massive additional personnel requirements made thousands of overtime hours necessary at Pentecost alone. Despite the many additional vehicles used, passengers would have had to be turned away. "Everywhere in Germany the platforms and the trains were full, in several cases overcrowded trains had to be cleared - but fortunately no stations," said Damde.
According to initial evaluations of the problem reports from the train drivers, there were around 400 trains nationwide every day that were too full, so that passengers had to be turned away or bicycles could not be taken along. "Bikes in particular are still a big problem," Damde told RND.
The railway works council expressed its praise for the passengers, who mostly followed the appeals to be considerate and patient. "There was aggression, for example when a bicycle had to stay outside or people no longer got on a train, but it remained verbal," says Damde. In total, there were around 700 reports of overloads, problems with passengers or disruptions to the operations center every day. That is significantly more than on an average weekend and also significantly more than on the Pentecost weekends before Corona.
Damde also attributes the increased personnel and time expenditure to the lack of rail experience of many passengers, who would not have found their way on the platforms and in large stations. "Overall, the passengers needed significantly more help than usual," says Damde. "This also included the fact that many people who hadn't taken the train for a long time didn't know that masks were still compulsory in public transport."
The additional use of vehicles has led to overtime for the railway staff across the board, especially for train drivers, customer advisors, service staff, but also cleaning and maintenance staff, the works council explained. "Troubleshooting can no longer be done in the workshop, but must be fixed on site by mobile teams in continuous operation." However, the railway employees could not take on such additional tasks permanently, warns Damde.