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Almost one in three travelers arrived late in 2023

In addition to the statistics that the railway publishes on the punctuality of its trains, there is also the so-called passenger punctuality. Among other things, it also takes into account if a train is completely canceled. The balance sheet for 2023 is not good.

Almost every third passenger on Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance transport was affected by delays this year. That was roughly as many as in the whole of 2022. This emerges from the railway’s response to a request from the Green transport politician Matthias Gastel ARD capital studio is present. The dpa news agency first reported on it.

According to this, around 69.6 percent of rail travelers reached their destination on time between January and November of this year. Everyone else was late.

Railway fulfilled self-made Don’t aim

The so-called passenger punctuality differs from the punctuality statistics that Deutsche Bahn publishes online every month. The latter only shows how many trains were late in the respective month, i.e. how many trains arrived at their destination at least six minutes late. In November this affected almost every second long-distance train. The railway is a long way from its self-imposed goal of train punctuality of more than 70 percent for the whole of 2023.

Traveler punctuality, on the other hand, measures when individual passengers arrived at their destination. It also takes train cancellations or replacement services into account. A passenger is considered to be late in these statistics if he arrives at his destination at least 15 minutes later than the timetable stated.

Sharp decrease in punctuality

According to the railway, between 2017 and 2020 passenger punctuality was always over 80 percent. Since then she has lost a lot of weight. The railway has so far only published the figures once a year in the annual report of its subsidiary DB Long-distance transport.

The Bundestag member Gastel is therefore calling for more regular information. “This information says more about the extent to which passengers are affected than simply counting trains,” he said. “If 30 percent of passengers arrive late at their destination, then well over three million people were affected in November alone. A clearly recognizable strategy is finally needed to improve passenger punctuality. To achieve this, more attention should be paid to trains with high occupancy and those with tight connections “A central starting point for more punctuality in rail transport is the infrastructure. This must be renovated and expanded to be less disruptive and more efficient.”

The rail network is to be renovated

The high level of unreliability of the railway is primarily due to the rail network, which has been neglected for decades and is dilapidated, outdated and overloaded in many places. Numerous construction sites are slowing down train traffic nationwide.

The federal government has therefore pledged billions of euros more to fundamentally renovate the existing network in the coming years. Dozens of heavily polluted corridors are to be tackled by 2030, completely closed for around six months each and completely renovated.

It starts next summer on the so-called Riedbahn between Frankfurt am Main and Mannheim. From the New Year onwards, the route will be completely closed for a few weeks in order to carry out preparatory measures for the general renovation in the second half of the year.

Andreas Reuter, ARD Berlin, tagesschau, January 2nd, 2024 10:12 a.m

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