MUNICH (dpa-AFX) – In the debate about the cost explosion on the main Munich route, a new cost-benefit analysis should be available by early October at the latest. “In close cooperation with the federal government, the Free State has commissioned a cost-benefit study,” said a spokesman for the Bavarian Ministry of Transport at the request of the German Press Agency in Munich. The study was commissioned in early 2022 and final results are expected in late September or early October.
The cost-benefit analysis examines whether the investments can also be expected to yield an economically viable return. The economic, social and environmental economic consequences are also taken into account. This is how the profitability of the investment is determined. Construction is a joint project, incl. Deutsche Bahn, the Free State of Bavaria, the city of Munich and the Federal Republic of Germany.
In the state parliament’s transportation committee, the construction ministry was accused of lack of transparency on Tuesday. Inge Aures (SPD) complained that the cost explosion and delays at the ministry had been known for a long time. “It smells a bit like heaven,” she said. According to Construction Minister Christian Bernreiter (CSU), the internal audit group presented the data in November 2021. The minister did not know what the estimates were based on and how the group operated.
One thing is certain: according to new estimates, the construction costs of the second S-Bahn line will increase from 3.85 to even 7.2 billion euros. In addition, the opening of the central route through the city center could be delayed from 2028 to 2037. Klaus-Dieter Josel, representative of the Deutsche Bahn Group for the Free State, could not confirm this. He did not mention the long-awaited details, but referred to the results of the investigation in early October.
Despite the criticism, the committee stressed the adherence to a project whose main aim is to modernize the decades-old and highly destructive Munich city rail network, which everyone believes plays an important role in local rail transport, even far beyond Munich. Bernreiter therefore called on the federal government to commit to co-financing and reliable financial statements of the additional costs, “with no small print preconditions.”
Markus Büchler from the Greens also asked for information on controlling a prestigious project. He also mentioned the discontinuation of the project and the search for faster improvements for local transport in Munich. But that could possibly cost around EUR 2 billion. Josel justified it, inter alia, costs of withdrawing from already concluded contracts.
Due to a possible cost explosion, a dispute broke out between the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria and the city of Munich over the future of the building project. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has flatly rejected a construction freeze over the weekend and said the federal government and Bavaria would have to split the additional costs in an agreed ratio of 60 to 40.
According to Bernreiter, the Free State has not yet applied to the federal government for participation in additional costs. To do this, it must first be established that the allocation of costs will continue. The minister announced that if the project lasts until 2037, the Free State may spend up to EUR 200 million more a year on the main route.
Some conflicting statements recently came from Berlin. Michael Theurer (FDP), secretary of state at the Federal Ministry of Transport, explained in a letter to the Bundestag’s Transport Committee that the federal government is still willing to finance the project up to 60 percent of the eligible costs. In turn, the press office of the ministry has repeatedly stated that the contract of 2016 does not contain any provisions in the event of an increase in costs.
Although the main route was included in the respective funding program in 2017, Deutsche Bahn and the City of Munich then “initiated various far-reaching adjustments and changes in planning” “which have a correspondingly negative impact on time and cost planning”. spokesman for the federal ministry at the request of the dpa. You must wait for the cost-benefit study result / had / DP / men before the federal government makes its final decision