Keeping distance in the morning traffic is already a hurdle that is difficult to overcome. In long-distance transport, i.e. ICE and Co., this was still reasonably possible in many cases, at least in recent weeks. However, the number of passengers at Deutsche Bahn is slowly rising again.
The bad news: The number of Corona infections in Germany is also increasing again. This is one reason why more and more politicians and passengers are calling for the railways to finally introduce a reservation requirement on trains. This is to ensure the necessary distance and to ensure that passengers are not placed too close to each other.
Rail: Reservation obligation brings disadvantages for customers
However, the railways vehemently oppose such a system. As Group spokesman Achim Stauß now the ARD Capital Studio stated that a reservation requirement for the railway was not an option. It is associated with too many limitations and entails disadvantages for short-term customers.
“It’s just the case with the railways that sometimes passengers come spontaneously. I am thinking of the 50,000 Bahncard 100 customers, I am thinking of the many customers who have a monthly pass for a particular route,” says Strauss. This great advantage, especially in relation to the aircraft, is not to be abandoned.
According to ARD, the Federal Ministry of Transport also relies on the open booking system of the railways. Customers should instead check the Deutsche Bahn website for information on how busy the trains are. The load is displayed there.
The railway also rejects the option of keeping certain places free to ensure distance. “We want families, we want to continue to allow couples to sit together,” Strauss said. However, the reservation system is closed earlier, so not all seats on the train would be allocated in advance.
According to ARD, this is not enough for FDP politician and railway expert Christian Jung. Passengers would not feel safe, trains would continue to be overcrowded. He demands: be able to reserve seats free of charge.
The Greens’ spokesman on rail policy, Matthias Gastel, called for such an adapted system that passengers are automatically placed at a distance – and their own car for risk groups.