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Public transit price hike to hit trains and buses nationwide: federation

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Public transit price hike to hit trains and buses nationwide: federation
Second class in a regional German train. Photo: DPA
16:07 CET+01:00
Tickets for trains, buses and trams in towns and cities across Germany are likely to get more expensive for passengers this year, according to a transport federation.

Prices could rise by an average of 1.5 to 2.0 percent, said Jürgen Fenske, president of the Federation of German Transport Companies (VDV) on Tuesday in Berlin.

"We're going to have to adjust fares in order to offset the costs," added Fenske.

The federation says that one reason for the price hike is the upcoming wage negotiations for public service workers. While passenger numbers have been booming, they add, labour and operating costs have played a major role for transit companies.

In 2017, transit prices rose by an average of just under 1.9 percent.

Last year, a record number of passengers were also recorded: around 10.3 billion people used buses, subways and trams - an increase of 1.4 percent compared to 2016. Transit company revenues also rose in 2017 by 3.3 percent to just under €12.8 billion.

But many of these companies want to grow and they have to maintain their vehicles, Fenske said, adding that they “need these revenues more than ever before.”

Also necessary in order for public transport to grow - in light of many people still travelling by car - is the corresponding infrastructure, Fenske said. Transit companies had told the federation in autumn that they needed €15 billion in order to expand.

Though there was an increase in rail travellers last year, the number of bus passengers fell by 0.2 percent - mainly due to a drop in bus connections in rural areas, the federation said.

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