DB delays worst in 10 years, report reveals
"Wir bitten um Ihr Verständnis" was the echoey, unwanted soundtrack of 2022 for many Deutsche Bahn passengers. Now, the company has announced that one third of its trains in Germany arrived late in 2022, meaning Deutsche Bahn has broken a 10-year unpunctuality record.
One third of German trains delayed in 2022
Of all the German institutions, Deutsche Bahn may win first prize when it comes to consistently disproving the myth of German punctuality. In 2022, the company broke a record held for the past 10 years, with an astounding one third of its trains arriving late at their destination during the year.
By Deutsche Bahn standards, a train is considered delayed when it reaches its destination at least six minutes later than planned.
Deutsche Bahn’s punctuality quota fell to 65,2 percent in 2022, the company has announced. In 2021, 75,2 percent of its long-distance trains arrived on time, and during 2020 - the first year that coronavirus impacted travel in Germany - almost 82 percent were punctual. For 2023, the company has set the goal of a 70 percent punctuality rate.
Summer saw lowest train punctuality rates
According to Deutsche Bahn, which has been privately run since 1994, the summer period of 2023 saw the highest frequency of delayed trains.
In the summer, just 60 percent of trains arrived on time, delays the likes of which passengers have not seen since the snow chaos of winter 2010. Such consistent lateness in these months is likely due to the fact that huge amounts of people were reaping the benefits of the country’s 9-euro ticket policy, which allowed customers to travel long distances using Germany’s regional transportation.
In a statement on its website, Deutsche Bahn blamed its trains' perpetual lateness on outdated materials and building projects. “The outdated and scant infrastructure, intensive building projects and traffic density of long-distance and regional trains since the second annual quarter, put pressure on the train service,” the company advocated.
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