Berlin Transport Senator Bettina Jarasch (Greens) is in favor of introducing a cheap basic pass for local public transport in Berlin in view of plans to reduce the price of the public transport pass.
“We have to combine the relief package with making public transport more attractive, otherwise people will go back to the car later. This is why we want to launch a new customer offensive and consider introducing an attractive entry-level subscription,” Jarasch said Monday on the sidelines of a press event.
Discussions are currently taking place in the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association (VBB) and with the Berlin Transport Company (BVG) and the S-Bahn. According to the senator, the exact aspect of that offer is still wide open.
In view of high fuel prices, the federal government decided last week on a relief package that, among other things, provides for a three-month reduction in the price of local transport passes to 9 euros per month.
The conference of transport ministers of the federal states then called for subscribers to be allowed to drive free for three months to avoid too much administrative work for transport companies. The BVG had also demanded zero tariffs for existing and new subscribers and at the same time advocated the introduction of a car-free Sunday in Berlin with a simultaneous expansion of the schedule offer.
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When asked about it, Jarasch dismissed expectations about the BVG’s plans. “These are good suggestions, but none of them can be implemented in days or weeks,” the Transportation Senator said. It would probably take months for that. Ideas are therefore not what you can use in the context of short-term planned price reductions in local transport.
Jarasch explained that price reductions for subscribers could be introduced on May 1. “The goal is to have all open questions cleared up by May 1.” However, many things are still unclear at this time, he restrained himself. First, a federal and state committee deals with the precise design of the plans. The Bundestag and the Bundesrat must also approve the project.
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So it’s not unlikely that the three-month price cut starts June 1st and thus includes the Berlin summer holidays and generally that period of the year when very few people use the bus and train. “That would not be very attractive to Berliners,” Jarasch said.
“The BVG has provided a good model to build on,” said Jens Wieseke, spokesman for the Berlin passenger association Igeb. He also joined Jarasch’s proposal for new rate offers. “We need measures to keep customers, that’s very clear,” he says.