On the best way into the future VBB Verkehrsverbund Berlin - Brandenburg 10 years on…

On 1 April 1999 a uniform tariff for public
transport was introduced in Berlin and
Brandenburg. The VBB-Tariff, is used within
41 public and private transport enterprises.
Approximately six million people living in the
capital region of Germany use since ten years
a similar ticket to ride on the whole regional
public transport whoever the operator. They
may also benefit from attractive tariff offers,
like the special ticket for students or the new
senior ticket “VBB-Abo 65plus”.

As a result,
in many places, connections and transfer
possibilities were improved between bus and
railway traffic. The number of passengers
increased constantly from 1,04 billion
passengers in 1999 up to 1,24 billion
passengers in 2008. The revenues increased
as well from € 521 million in 1999 up to €
985 million in 2008.

These good figures
confirm the efforts of the VBB to achieve a
public transport system more attractive for
both the passengers and the transport
enterprises. The suburban traffic in Berlin and Brandenburg enjoys a high level of
service which is confirmed by customer
satisfaction surveys, regularly undertaken
by the VBB. Competition on the rail contributes
also to an improvement of the
quality of the public transport network.


VBB called to tender Germany’s largest
railway network.

With an extent of about 22 million train
kilometres per year and a volume of
around € 1.3 billion Germany’s largest call
fo tenders was started in autumn 2008.
Under the name “Netz Stadtbahn”
(metropolitan railway network) 16 regional
railway lines, with a contract running-time
of 10 and/or 11 years, were tendered out.
Operation will start on December 2011
and last until the end of 2022.

The federal
states (Bundesländer) of Brandenburg,
Berlin, Saxonia-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-
Western Pomerania have entitled the VBB
to launch the tendering procedure.

The preliminary result leads to financialsavings
of approximately €50 million per year
with simultaneous quality increases. Among
other things new measures to accessibility
will be realised in the future contracts. CCTV
and more service staff will increase security
in the trains. The travel time will be reduced
in some parts of the network as well as
highecapacity offered. All trains will be
equipped with air conditioning.

A characteristic of the tendering procedure is
that the network, which consist of 4 lots, will
be splitted up to at least two enterprises.
Herewith the transport authorities want to
distribute the financial risk and arrange for
more competition on rail for a long time.
On Monday 27 July the tender was approved:

the DB Regio AG wins the lots 1and 3 with
a volume of trade of about 15 million trainkilometers
per year. Lots 2 and 4 with a volume
of trade of about 7 million train-kilometers
per year is given to Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn
GmbH (ODEG) which belongs among others
to the Prignitzer Eisenbahn (Arriva) and
the BeNEX (Hamburger Hochbahn, B&B).

VBB will launch an e-ticketing-system in
the near future.

The VBB made an application for support to the German Ministry for Transport for a new
electronic ticketing system called “INNOS”.

The project is two folded:

  • First, the three integrated public authorities VVO (Dresden and surrounding area), RMV (Frankfurt/Main and surrounding area) and VBB will simultaneously install in INNOGHGS - a nationwide and interoperable usable operating system. Therefore, the German Ministry for Transport (BMVBS) allocated in close collaboration with the federal states Berlin and Brandenburg 5.7 million €.
  • Second the VBB launches a pilot project of sales engineering infrastructure. The objective is to check electronic tickets and demonstrate the usability of the new system in the region Berlin-Brandenburg. Starting in the tariff-zones Berlin ABC and selected urban districts it will then be extended in the whole region of the VBB. The subscribers will get e-tickets and the 41 transport companies will be able to inspect them using check-in-terminal and hand-held unit.

The costs for the first step amount to 3.0
million € (BMVBS and the federal state
Brandenburg finance this part of the
project). Together with the BVG (public
transport company for Berlin), the first
eTicket/smartcards will be handed out in
April 2011.


  • Updated : August 7, 2009

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