Reports of overloaded trains and 700 problems a day over Pentecost weekend
The 9-euro ticket has had its first major test over the weekend, as the Pentecost holiday caused passenger numbers to swell. Taking stock, Deutsche Bahn declared that the weekend was a mixed bag, with overcrowding and congestion on many trains, some incidents between passengers and staff, but generally a positive mood.
Deutsche Bahn reports 700 problems a day over Pentecost weekend
Cheap tickets, good weather and a nationwide holiday combined this weekend to cause a run on the railways. “As expected, the 9-euro campaign triggered a great rush on regional trains, which led to significantly more cases of overcrowding nationwide,” said the vice chairperson of the General Works Council DB Regio, Ralf Damde.
Over the first long weekend with the 9-euro ticket, more than 400 local trains were overcrowded, meaning passengers had to be turned away and bicycles often had to be left behind. There were around 700 reports of congestion, disruptions, or problems involving passengers each day over the Pentecost weekend. While some verbal attacks on staff were reported, generally, Damde praised the patience and consideration of passengers.
Passengers needed more help using trains
It was not just the trains themselves that were overloaded, but Deutsche Bahn staff members as well: the company said it had to approve thousands of overtime working hours over the weekend as staff members dealt with passengers struggling to get their heads around the geography of Germany’s regional railway network, or those who had not travelled by train for a long time and needed a reminder on how the whole thing worked.
“Overall, the passengers needed significantly more help than usual,” Damde said. “This also included the fact that many people who hadn’t taken the train for a long time didn’t know that masks were still compulsory in public transport.”