General meeting of the Federal Association of Local Rail Transport in Schwerin

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labour of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Jesse: Switching to bus and rail is only possible with attractive offers and socially acceptable and digital fare and sales structures

Transport State Secretary Ines Jesse today (Thursday, 20 June) called for more financial support from the federal government at the 83rd general meeting of the Federal Association of Local Rail Transport in Schwerin. "The switch to bus and rail will only succeed if we have attractive transport services and attractive fares. This is what the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern mobility campaign stands for - we are gradually implementing a significant expansion of local public transport - especially in rural areas. We cannot take these steps alone - we urgently need more regionalisation funds from the federal government. This is the only way we can ensure satisfied passengers and a future-oriented and climate-friendly rail system in the long term," said Ines Jesse, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labour.

The members' meeting was organised by VMV-Verkehrsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the main topics of the meeting were the Deutschlandticket, the railway infrastructure in Germany and the cost development of local rail passenger transport. The managing directors of the 26 partner public transport organisations were present.

"VMV-Verkehrsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has been a member of the association for many years and is delighted to welcome the executive committee, the managing directors and the members to Schwerin," says Daniel Bischof, Managing Director of VMV-Verkehrsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and continues: "It takes a great deal of nationwide commitment on the part of the public transport authorities to be able to tackle issues such as the German cycle."A great deal of nationwide commitment is required on the part of public transport authorities in order to be able to tackle issues such as the Deutschlandtakt, financing and cost recovery in regional rail transport, digital rail and the general refurbishment of high-performance corridors in Germany. Today's industry meeting will contribute to entering into a dialogue together and finding solutions to the many challenges currently facing regional rail transport.

Jan Görnemann, Managing Director of the Federal Association of Local Rail Transport, said: "In view of the major challenges facing the industry, in particular the shortage of skilled workers in regional transport and the race to catch up in the expansion and modernisation of rail infrastructure, we need to join forces with all public authorities."

More regionalisation funding from the federal government needed to expand rail services and infrastructure

In addition to the Deutschlandticket introduced last year, three pillars will support the mobility campaign in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. An expansion of the performance and infrastructure of local rail passenger transport stands for a high-quality supra-regional transport service. In the medium term, future service expansions are to be offered hourly on all main axes of the state network on weekdays - and at least every second hour on secondary axes. In addition, transport times are to be extended, including at weekends and during the season. In addition, a state-wide bus network with high-quality regular-interval services is currently being implemented, operated by Regiobusse MV. Regiobus routes are currently being introduced throughout the state on important transport axes with uniform quality standards. Six such routes have currently been introduced in the districts. As the third pillar of the mobility offensive, the concept of a standardised state-wide on-demand bus system has been developed to cover the "last mile". The administrative districts retain responsibility for this. The transport companies require sufficient vehicle and personnel resources for a nationwide on-call bus system. These are currently being created in all six districts.

Timetable 2024: Largest service offensive in decades

The 2024 annual timetable for local rail passenger transport (SPNV) in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was launched in December 2023. With the largest service offensive in decades, 1.2 million more service kilometres have been ordered for the state, which corresponds to an increase of seven percent. This is the largest increase in service kilometres since the railway reform in 1994/95. The strong growth in demand associated with the introduction of the Deutschlandticket made it necessary to increase the capacity of regular regional rail services. Furthermore, additional journeys on the Southern Railway and to the Sassnitz ferry harbour will be offered again this season. "The introduction of the Deutschlandticket has shown that it is possible to initiate a switch to rail travel with attractive ticket prices. However, we still need sustainable and long-term financial security for the Deutschlandticket from the federal government - even beyond 2025. Only with stable and predictable framework conditions for the Deutschlandticket can the federal states and, above all, the public transport authorities reliably ensure further expansions of the service," said Jesse.