After tax cut: one million extra Deutsche Bahn passengers in January
After lowering value added tax on long-distance tickets, Deutsche Bahn transported a record 12,2 million people in the first four weeks of 2020. The cheaper tickets are clearly a hit, says CEO Richard Lutz.
Record 12,2 million train passengers in January 2020
The number of passengers travelling by long-distance train in Germany rose from 11 to 12,2 million in January 2020. That’s an increase of 10,7 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
“On the one hand, this is the result of the reduction in value added tax on long-distance tickets,” said Lutz. “On the other hand, travellers feel that we are investing heavily in more trains and more staff.” Amid the current discourse on climate change, train travel is clearly gaining popularity as a comfortable, climate-friendly alternative to driving or flying.
VAT dropped on train tickets as part of climate package
As part of the federal government’s climate package, VAT on long-distance transport tickets was reduced from 19 to 7 percent at the turn of the year - making train tickets around 10 percent cheaper.
Deutsche Bahn announced at the end of last year that it plans to almost double its passenger numbers by 2030. The federal government has agreed to provide 86 billion euros to renovate rail infrastructure in Germany and purchase more high-speed trains.
Worker shortage holding Deutsche Bahn back
However, Deutsche Bahn’s grand plans are currently being held back by a lack of personnel. On average in 2019, there were 100 vacancies for every 25 train drivers registered as job-seekers, according to data from the Federal Employment Agency.
Deutsche Bahn plans to recruit 25.000 new employees in 2020, which - offset against layoffs and restructurings - results in a net creation of 5.000 new jobs. 2.300 of these will be train drivers.
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