PlusBuses are a quality public transport product – A success story in 5 years

  • Updated18 February 2020
  • News

As a transport association, the VBB (Verkehrsverbund Berlin – Brandenburg) has the task of providing good bus and rail links to the whole VBB region.

A real transport revolution involves shifting ever more traffic over to environmentally friendly public transport. At least, this is the demand and the major project of the political, business and social spheres.

The local transport sector has various solutions to meet this demand: alongside the extensive expansion and modernisation of our rail infrastructure, bus transport plays a particularly crucial role.

There are around 33,000 scheduled buses in Germany. That means that in the state of Brandenburg alone, we are talking about more than 700 bus routes. Buses form the backbone of public transport in rural areas as well as in cities and conurbations.

One particularly successful concept is the PlusBus, which was launched in Brandenburg exactly five years ago.

Inspired by the success of the PlusBus in the neighbouring state of Saxony, with the Mitteldeutscher Verkehrsverbund (MDV), the VBB, together with the administrative districts and transport companies, launched a challenging project five years ago: the PlusBus brand. The concept behind it brings the quality of the railways to the road: services at regular intervals, fast connections, and short waiting times to change to the regional railways. There are now 27 PlusBuses in 10 of Brandenburg’s 14 administrative districts: they run every hour, even at weekends, and are on time. They take people to the town centres and, above all, to the nearest railway station – all coordinated to fit in with rail transport.

The past five years of the PlusBus has been an absolute success story: growing passenger numbers, rising revenues, and increasing mobility in rural areas. Schoolchildren and commuters along with tourists and pensioners all benefit from the concept. The PlusBus, therefore, reaches the entire range of passengers.

Passengers and potential new customers can immediately see that the buses on these routes guarantee an improved service and quality. Firstly, the PlusBus concept makes it clear that these bus lines meet higher standards. Secondly, this brand is being used to promote the establishment of further PlusBus routes in the state of Brandenburg. The number of PlusBuses is to be doubled in the next few years. Experience shows that where bus lines have already been upgraded, additional passengers have been gained – in some cases up to 40% more!

This is a great success of the previous PlusBus lines and demonstrates that the PlusBus, and its timetable are ideally suited to rural areas.

The establishment of this service is a further step towards actually being able to implement political sustainability goals. After all, the PlusBus offers the best links between rail and bus networks and creates good public transport services as an alternative to using one‘s own car.

For Susanne Henckel, VBB Managing Director, the concept is in any event already ready to roll out across the whole of Germany: “PlusBuses offer better links between regional centres, a reliable service every hour, and short transfer times between buses and trains. That goes down well with passengers. Even after five years, everyone involved is still pulling together to spread the PlusBus brand further and, at the same time, to serve as a model for other German states to introduce the PlusBus model. Because only with good public transport services can we create alternatives to using the car”.

_The PlusBuses operate in Brandenburg under the slogan “A service you can count on”. Since their introduction in 2014, 27 lines have already been set up throughout the network area.

The PlusBus brand stands for high quality standards in Brandenburg:

  • A regular service from 6 a.m. to after 8 p.m.
  • A maximum transfer time between train and bus of 15 minutes.
  • A weekend service.

Since September 2018, besides providing basic funding, the State of Brandenburg has been supporting the service at EUR 0.40 for each PlusBus kilometre.