Dhe Caritas old people’s center on the outskirts of Offenbach will continue to be directly connected to the local public transport network via the “Caritas/Buchrainweiher” stop. That says a compromise that the city has worked out with Caritas Offenbach in the past few days. This emerges from two communications from the city and Caritas. The tricky budget situation is forcing the Offenbach coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP to partially scale back the expansion of local public transport that had already been sought under the previous coalition with the participation of the CDU.
The cuts, especially the planned elimination of line 106 and the abolition of the “Caritas/Buchrainweiher” stop, had caused criticism from Caritas and led to a protest by old residents of the center who feared for the possibility of being able to travel to the city center independently despite their handicaps shopping or getting to the doctor. Caritas not only saw this as a significant reduction in the quality of life of the 167 residents of the center.
The director of Caritas Offenbach, Michael Klein, saw the planned expansion of the center with an investment volume of around 50 million euros in danger and thus ultimately the existing around 150 jobs and inevitably the around 80 new jobs planned with the expansion. The compromise that has now been found not only affects the Caritas center; according to the city, the post office and the VDE Institute, as well as the Leibniz School, are also located near the center.
Eight bus trips a day
According to the mayor and head of the mobility department Sabine Groß (Die Grünen), in agreement with Caritas, the facility will remain connected with around eight bus trips from July on Mondays to Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. “The employees of the post office and the VDE will then also benefit from this,” said Groß in a statement. The Offenbacher Verkehrsbetriebe and the local public transport company in Offenbach will work out the exact timetables.
“We set the times according to the wishes of Caritas, as far as we can implement this in the operational process,” explained Mayor Groß. In the message, you and City Treasurer Martin Wilhelm (SPD) thanked Caritas representative Klein for the constructive cooperation. This made it possible to develop a minimum offer from which the residents of the Caritas center, their relatives and visitors as well as the employees in the south of Offenbach benefited.
Chamberlain Wilhelm admitted that those responsible were well aware that the cutbacks imposed by the financial crisis could result in social hardship that would have to be cushioned. Therefore, from the beginning, the concept provided for a buffer in driving performance, which was also intended for Caritas. It was only unclear to what extent that would be the case.