Railway boss expects millions of additional passengers – economy


  • In the event of lower taxes on tickets, the Group expects passenger numbers to rise sharply.
  • The train promises significantly fewer delays in three to four years.
  • The group wants to invest even more in security after the recent terror suspicion.

From Markus Balser, Berlin

The German railway expects the introduction of cheaper tickets by lower tax rates with a rush to own trains. "Our analyzes show that we could thereby win more than five million additional long-distance travelers for the environmentally friendly rail," says CEO Richard Lutz in an interview with the South German newspaper, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) had this week proposed to lower the VAT rate on ICE and IC tickets from 19 to 7 percent as in local transport. Rail passengers should be relieved so by 400 million euros per year. "We support this proposal without any ifs or buts. It would be tailwind on the way to a doubling of passengers," Lutz said.

However, they have to settle for much longer with many delayed moves. The brand of 80 percent punctual trains will only "surpass the train in three to four years". Just under 75 percent of long-distance trains were on time last year. "This year, we aim for 76.5 percent, then 78 percent in 2020. So we slowly cope with the 80 percent," announces Lutz. "You can not expect miracles from a sluggish system like the railroad, we will not be on time overnight, but better step by step, that's a fight for every minute, every day."

Bahn is facing "renaissance" in European traffic

Even with the recent suspicion of terrorism, Deutsche Bahn is significantly expanding the use of surveillance cameras. "Together with the federal government, we want to massively invest in the further expansion of video surveillance," announced Lutz. For discussion, there is a high double-digit million amount for new technology. "Today there are 7400 cameras at 1100 stations – almost twice as many as in 2012. There were 30 stations with 830 cameras in 2018. We are currently examining with authorities where others are used," Lutz continued.

In the case of attacks on railway lines in Bavaria and Berlin, Austrian authorities are now talking about a terror cell. This has shown how vulnerable the network of the railway is. "We are constantly in close contact with the Federal Police and other authorities," Lutz said. The federal police was for the safety of the passengers with about 5000 officials in use. The railway would provide 4000 security personnel. "There is never one hundred percent certainty, but we do what we can," says Lutz.

Lutz also spoke out against political foreclosure tendencies in Europe. "That worries me because the supposed solution, the foreclosure, does not do justice to the problems we can only solve problems together A strong Europe is the answer – a coexistence and not a mutually secured future." The railways profit from open borders and are facing a renaissance in European traffic. "International traffic has been growing disproportionately for years," said Lutz. "By 2018, 7.5 percent more travelers were on international trains".

Read the whole interview with SZ Plus

"This is a fight for every minute"

Railroad CEO Richard Lutz rules a gigantic empire: 320,000 employees, 40,000 trains, 28,000 buses in 130 countries. A conversation about punctuality and the consequences of cheaper tickets.By Markus Balser



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