Traffic jams and heavy traffic are part of everyday life on Berlin’s streets. What annoys every motorist in the capital is also increasingly worrying the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG).
The increasing number of cars and the resulting slower-flowing traffic are threatening the timetable of the bus lines in particular with increasing hailstorms. If things continue like this, according to the BVG, more drivers and buses will be needed – just to keep up the current pace.
“In the future, we will need around 100 additional drivers if the travel speed of our buses slows down due to further growth in traffic,” a BVG spokesman confirmed to the Tagesspiegel.
Because of the increasingly heavy traffic in Berlin, the drivers tend to make fewer rounds in their shifts. Accordingly, additional staff is needed to be able to continue to offer the current timetable.
There is not even a mention of the frequency increases that the Senate is planning city-wide, but above all in the outskirts. “We’re talking about expanding the offer and then something like that happens,” stated Jens Wieseke, spokesman for the Igeb passenger association.
“The bus is the bridging technology to get the traffic turnaround quickly.” Decisions must now be made quickly so that bus traffic becomes faster. The BVG would also like to see more speed on the bus: “As is well known, the acceleration of buses and trains is a matter close to our hearts.”
This not only makes local transport more attractive for passengers. “But a higher cruising speed also means more effective use of vehicles and personnel.”
The topic of local transport acceleration has been known for years. The total length of the Berlin bus lanes is to increase by several kilometers. However, in many places the establishment of the special patrols in the districts is proving to be tough, despite an order from the Senate Transport Administration. So the buses are still stuck in traffic.
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The search for additional drivers is also a general problem for the BVG. “The fact that we are constantly hiring new drivers is not a new phenomenon, but the completely normal development of recent years: Berlin is growing and the BVG is growing with it,” explained a spokesman.
In addition to the continuous expansion of the range, there is also normal staff turnover. “So we constantly need new employees, just to meet the growing need for mobility.”