BONN · Only 2000 of the 17,000 possible 365-Euro annual tickets for the city have been ordered. There is dissatisfaction that only new customers are able to benefit. However, the public utility company is optimistic that it can further increase demand.
Around 2000 of the so-called climate tickets have been given to customers or will be issued in the coming weeks, according to information from the public bus and train company (SWB). This was disclosed by SWB spokesperson Werner Schui on request. The 365 Euro annual ticket, valid for twelve months, is part of the Lead City pilot project, for which Bonn is receiving around 37.6 million Euros in funding from the federal government. The aim is to test in a total of five German cities over a two year period, which measures are suitable to encourage as many commuters as possible to switch from cars to alternative forms of transport.
As well as additional tariff offers, the project in Bonn also includes more frequent bus and train services as well as operational mobility management, i.e. improved offers and targeted marketing to companies. Schui has not yet been able to give any firm figures for family tickets. Since 1 January, five people have been able to use a cheaper day ticket. Instead of the previous 13.40 Euros, they pay the price of a one-person ticket. “We are assuming that they will sell particularly well at weekends.”
The SWB said they were in concrete discussions with more than a dozen companies interested in Jobtickets for their employees. For the period of the project to the end of 2020, companies can get Jobtickets under changed conditions. If at least 35 per cent of the total workforce takes a Jobticket for the city, then each pays an amount of 56 Euros. Previously, everyone had to buy such a ticket if the company employed more than 50 people. Schui is unable to say at the moment how many employees are interested.
Schui said the SWB subsidiary is satisfied with current progress. Before Christmas, the number of applications for the climate ticket was 1200. However, there is still considerable room for improvement. In total, the subsidy is sufficient for 17,000 365-Euro tickets. The SWB is optimistic that this number will be requested during the project period. When asked, Schui confirmed what many politicians had already predicted: the Service Centre is often on the receiving end of regular customers’ dissatisfaction.
Many thought it unfair that they were not included in the climate ticket, which is limited to the city area and costs 30.42 Euros per month. They continue to pay 82.30 Euros per month for a similar service. The restriction to new customers, who have not had a subscription for at least a year, is due to the capped subsidy. The city and SWB also justify their decision by the overriding aim of Lead City to persuade car drivers to switch.
In agreement with the city, the SWB has approved a marketing campaign that will probably start in February. The SWB says the new offers have not yet been widely advertised because the subsidy approvals from the federal government as to which projects would actually receive financial support were only given at the beginning of December.
(Original text: Philipp Königs. Translation: kc)