Deutsche Bahn: Longer transfer times instead of more punctuality

Status: 10/08/2022 13:39

Due to the high number of delays, Deutsche Bahn is adapting its timetable information and booking system: longer connection times are planned for long-distance connections in the future. This may have an impact on the payment of compensation.

Deutsche Bahn is planning hundreds of long-distance connections in Germany with longer connection times for passengers. The group is thus responding to numerous rail traffic delays. In the information about the timetable and in the booking system, a few minutes more are set as standard, as announced by the company.

“When planning and booking, we no longer identify rare connections that are difficult to achieve in the current operating environment,” said Michael Peterson, board member. According to Peterson, longer transfer times are stored for approximately 800 connections. Depending on the connection, he explained, it could now be ten, twelve or 14 minutes instead of the previous eight minutes.

Individually longer or shorter transfer times

Peterson assured that anyone who, contrary to expectations, catches a transfer train earlier than planned, will have no problems with checking tickets despite possible train connections. Passengers can also individually set shorter or longer connection times in the system.

“We want to make travel more predictable,” said Peterson. “The fastest connection is not always the most reliable.” Trains are now less punctual than they have been in years. Peterson spoke of the imposition on passengers and employees.

Impact on passenger rights

In the current shortage management situation, longer connection times are beneficial, says Karl-Peter Naumann, Honorary President of the Pro Bahn Passenger Association. tagesschau.de. The experienced driver had not yet counted on a transfer train in five minutes. If you must expect a delay now, it is worth mentioning it in the information.

Naumann assumes that longer connection times will be offered until the construction works announced for 2024 begin – with appropriate construction schedules. In his opinion, longer connection times have little impact on the statistics of train delays. However, they did affect compensation and passenger rights.

If DB Navigator shows a connection time of six minutes, but the first train is eight minutes late, you miss your connecting train and you reach your destination an hour later, you will receive a 25% refund of your ticket today. But if the call is no longer displayed and you still answer it, you do so at your own risk, says Naumann. Then you won’t get your money back.

1,000 additional employees

Deutsche Bahn also announced today that it will hire nearly 1,000 additional workers in long-distance trains and stations. 750 additional employees are now planned on trains and 130 on particularly crowded platforms. In addition, 100 so-called guests. They are designed to help passengers, for example, when getting in and out and finding a seat. The long-distance service team has approximately 8,000 employees.

Peterson spoke of “historic rails.” This year, the number of long-distance passengers will be slightly below the record value of 2019, when it was around 151 million. According to Bahn, traffic efficiency, which is the number of kilometers traveled, reached a new peak between May and July. Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, the increase was three percent. “People travel greater distances by train than they did before the pandemic,” the company said.

The number of seats should increase

The group intends to invest around ten billion euros in new trains and more seats by 2029. By the end of the year, the ICE fleet is to increase to over 360 trains and the number of seats is to be increased by 13,000.

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