The Corona crisis is already having a clear impact on public transport. Starting Monday (March 30), that will only intensify. Because then the buses and trains in Frankfurt will be switched to an intensified Sunday schedule. Therefore, from the start of operations, the most important lines will run at 15-minute intervals, and thus at twice the usual Sunday morning frequency.
The subways will run all day with the workday suspension, that is, usually as a three- or four-car train. Some bus routes that serve commercial areas and do not normally run on Sundays now run on weekdays. Night services between about 0.30am and 4.30am will remain suspended.
All details will be posted on http://www.rmv-frankfurt.de. Also the timetable information (Internet and App) is to represent still before Monday at least with the target times the new timetable.
"Thus the city of Frankfurt am Main, the urban local transport company traffiQ, the VGF and the bus companies take into account the current development" says head of transport Klaus Oesterling. Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, and especially in the last two weeks, passenger numbers have been falling sharply. Passenger numbers had already dropped by more than 80 percent before the contact closure. The reason, of course, is that numerous businesses have now closed, restaurants, public facilities and many shops are closed. However, this is not the only reason for the reduction of the VGF's service. Because the transport companies are also having to deal with increased sick leave and staff absences, for example due to childcare. Already in recent days there had been increased cancellations of trips.
"Against this background, it is no longer possible to guarantee that the holiday schedule can continue to be run," said VGF Managing Director Michael Rüffer. "We have therefore decided with a heavy heart to move to an enhanced Sunday timetable," said Transport Director Oesterling. "We are walking a fine line of being able to offer a reliable basic service even in these difficult times, while at the same time ensuring staffing requirements. I hope that the situation will not worsen in the coming weeks to such an extent that we are forced to make further restrictions." "Moreover, the VGF will have a deployment reserve ready from Monday in order to be able to improve the service at short notice in the event of selective overloads," added Managing Director Rüffer.
The cancellation of further journeys in the coming days cannot be ruled out, however, and due to the short notice, it is to be expected that the information systems will also not always be able to reflect the current status.
The head of transport thanked the passengers for the understanding shown so far for the restrictions and the staff of the transport companies for the commitment under the also especially for the driving staff difficult conditions.
The city of Frankfurt am Main, traffiQ and the commissioned bus companies are thus drawing a further consequence from the Corona pandemic. So far, these measures have already been implemented:
- Since the night of Saturday, March 21, public transport has been suspended between about 0.30 and 4.30 a.m.
- Already since Wednesday, March 18, buses and trains in Frankfurt am Main have been running according to the reduced timetable as it applies during the summer holidays.
- The mobility center "Verkehrsinsel" at the Hauptwache, the VGF ticket center in the Hauptwache arcade and in the Bockenheimer Warte have been closed since Monday, March 16.
- In Frankfurt city transport, the front door of the regular buses remains closed until further notice. Passengers can use the other doors to get on and off the bus. This is to avoid any possible transmission of the virus between bus driver and passengers.
- Drivers of subways, trams and buses are asked to open the doors at all stations and stops. Passengers will then not have to press the buttons. Only on some older trams this is not possible.
- All transport companies in Frankfurt am Main have intensified the cleaning of their vehicles. In addition to regular cleaning, vehicles are partially disinfected at night in the depots. However, disinfection during rolling operations is not possible.
- Further restrictions to its service offering, such as ticket center closures, were published by VGF on its website at www.vgf-ffm.de on March 16.
Tickets are still compulsory. Passengers should purchase tickets as season tickets before starting their journey, via the RMV app or at the latest when changing at a station with a ticket vending machine.
In order to provide passengers and staff with the best possible protection against transmission of the Corona virus, traffiQ asks all passengers to take the necessary precautions: It is currently particularly important to heed hygiene rules such as keeping your distance, washing your hands sufficiently long and thoroughly or sneezing into the crook of your arm.