Driverless vehicles still have some way to go before they can efficiently do the work done by people, Source: BVG Facebook

Expect fewer bus services in Berlin due to shortage of drivers

Expect fewer bus services in Berlin due to shortage of drivers

The reduction in the frequency of these public transit routes will begin on 10 December

Berlin Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the German capital’s main public transport operator, announced that it will cut down on the number of bus services operating the daily routes…due to a lack of drivers. The service reduction, which is sure to cause inconvenience to the commuters and visitors to the city, will come into effect on 10 December. Thus, people who rely on this mode of transportation have two weeks to start adjusting to the new reality.

Overall, the timetable reduction in the bus services will be at the rate of 6%. They will be evenly distributed across the city although the exact lines have not been indicated.

Not the best Christmas surprise for Berlin residents

The necessity for the service trimming will likely result in larger waiting times outside of peak hours. According to Berliner Morgenpost, however, the management of the company will try to make up for the disruption by placing larger buses on the routes.

BVG also assured the public that important routes, such as those servicing schools and hospitals will remain properly serviced.

This is not a good situation for us or the passengers. That is not the promise of quality we stand for,” Rolf Erfurt, BVG’s operations director, told Berliner Morgenpost.

He added that the issue was outside of his control given the precarious situation in the transport section of the labour market in Germany.

BVG’s goal is to fill 630 jobs by the end of the year. 500 drivers have already been hired, but even if that target was met, they would still be 350 short of the number required to maintain the regular timetable. 

BVG has already been experimenting with driverless buses (seen in the photo) since 2021, as the difficulty of finding people for the job is not new. However, it may still be some time before public autonomous vehicles can fully take over the streets of Berlin.



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