Bonn dispute over public transport fares Criticism of tariff increase for buses and trains

Bonn · Bus and train travel is to become more expensive again from January. A few days before the VRS association meeting will decide on the fare increase, trade unions and welfare organisations are voicing criticism.

 Bus and train fares are to become more expensive again in the Rhine-Sieg Transport Association area from January.

Bus and train fares are to become more expensive again in the Rhine-Sieg Transport Association area from January.

Foto: GA/Benjamin Westhoff

The planned price increase for bus and train tickets of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS) by an average of 1.5 per cent has put the welfare associations and trade unions on the spot. They are demanding that all members of the VRS association meeting, which will decide on the price increase on Thursday, vote „no".

As things stand, however, this demand is likely to fall on deaf ears. So far, only the politicians Rolf Beu (Greens), Gabi Mayer (SPD) and Jürgen Wehlus (CDU), who are delegated to the association assembly, have declared that they will vote against the increase. When asked how Lord Mayor Katja Dörner (Greens), as the municipal representative in the association assembly, will vote, Vice-City spokesperson Marc Hoffmann said: "If these rising costs in Bonn can no longer be covered by the revenues of Stadtwerke Bonn, the city will provide compensatory financing. If this is not possible, the costs must be covered by higher ticket prices." Therefore, a VRS-wide compromise should be found. Against this background, discussions will be held until the meeting on Thursday. Following the meeting, a statement by the Mayor will be published.

The fact is that if there is no price increase, the municipal authorities and the transport companies they own will lose millions more in their coffers. According to reports, this would mean a loss of up to two million euros for Bonn.

"Fare increases make public transport less attractive"

Bernd Weede, chair of the DGB district association Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, sees the planned fare increase as a wrong signal for social policy. "It primarily affects people with low incomes, but also commuters who are doubly burdened by rising rent and mobility costs," the trade unionist criticised in a press release issued by the trade unions and welfare associations on Monday. He is convinced that fare increases make public transport less attractive and the switch from cars to buses and trains less likely.

On behalf of the German Tenants' Association Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahr, Bernhard "Felix" von Grünberg explains: "Above all, the parties that have promoted a gradual introduction of ticketless public transport in their election programmes and coalition agreements are making themselves untrustworthy - even with a small compromise. We therefore appeal to the politicians of all parties to vote against a fare increase.“

Ulrich Hamacher also has words. The managing director of the Diakonisches Werk Bonn und Region is also chairman of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege Bonn and therefore also speaks on behalf of other welfare organisations. "Travelling by bus and train is already too expensive in our region. We have to make public transport affordable again," he demands. Only with low ticket prices can the switch from individual transport to public transport succeed. This also includes removing the well-known obstacles to accessing job tickets. "In the medium term, we are striving for free public transport and see it as the responsibility of the coming federal government to provide more funding," said Hamacher.

Original text: Lisa Inhoffen

Translation: Mareike Graepel

Neueste Artikel
Zum Thema
Aus dem Ressort