BONN · Public transport authorities (SWB) say more staff are needed for the project “Lead City” to work. The mayor sees the project as a test, and the city has released a set of questions and answers about how it will function.
Political discussions have arose surrounding the “Lead City” project in Bonn, which includes the 365-euro public transport pass for 2019. On Tuesday, there was no mention of additional staff needed for the proposed changes brought on by the project, including more frequent stops and additional lines. But the works council of public transportation authorities (SWB) says an additional 30 staff will need to be hired to make it work. A year ago, a proposal for such an improvement in the public transportation system was decided against, the administration citing the additional investments that would have been required.
Mayor Ashok Sridharan sees the year-long discounted climate pass as a test. With the threat of a diesel ban in inner cities, this is a way to find out if a drastic price reduction will encourage more people to use public transportation.
Personnel problems are currently the reason for cancelled or late buses and trams. SWB spokeswoman Veronika John said it was especially critical last Tuesday, with many drivers calling in sick due to the heat. Some even stopped working during their shift as they were not able to carry on. But the SWB is working on filling vacant positions and is optimistic that ten current vacancies will be filled by October. SWB works council chairwoman Monika Pohl was also optimistic that the other 20 positions needed for the increased offers in the new project, will be filled by December when the timetable changes are implemented.
The federal government wants to give Bonn 37.6 million euros towards improving air quality. It is not yet exactly clear how that money will be spent, which raises many questions. Because there is still much that seems to be unclear about the “Lead City” project, the city has published relevant information with questions and answers.
What will be funded in Bonn?
The city began with 60 proposals, narrowed it down to ten and the federal government selected three of these. They will be funded with 37.6 million euros. Included are new tariffs, improved transportation offers and mobility management. As a point of reference: The City of Bonn provides 30 million euros in funding.
What new deals or rates will be offered?
A 365 euro annual public transportation pass (climate ticket) - which works within Bonn and is for new customers only, a job ticket for Bonn companies (also for new customers), a discounted ticket for five persons traveling within Bonn. The offers are valid as of January 1, 2019 as long as the supply lasts.
What comes with the climate ticket?
The “Klimaticket” (climate ticket) costs 365 euros for the year (2019). Normally, a monthly pass would cost 82.30 euros, or 987.60 euros per year. It allows you to take advantage of all forms of local public transportation in Bonn for 24-hours a day. It will be cheaper to get to neighboring cities as well. For example, a ticket to Cologne normally costs 7.90 but with the climate ticket it would cost 3.70 euros.
Who is eligible?
Basically, anyone who does not currently subscribe to a monthly pass, or who hasn’t subscribed recently. Just how recent has not yet been exactly defined but a “new” customer, according to the city, is someone who has not had a monthly pass for at least a year. Those who have a student or semester ticket should be able to change to the climate ticket but exact conditions have not yet been determined.
How will transportation offers be improved?
How long is the funding?
The funding support is for a maximum of two years. After that, there will be an evaluation of how the project has impacted air quality and how well the offers have been received. The city has informed federal authorities that it could only provide the offer past 2020 with a guarantee of further federal funding.
(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen, Nicolas Ottersbach; Translation: ck)