Opnv: “we can’t go on like this”


Time to the frankenmetropole on a daily basis to work there. The problem is that 90 percent of them drive their own cars, while just ten percent use the public transport system. "The traffic gridlock is practically being carried into the cities from the cities", explains andreas mader of the transport association grobraum nurnberg.
The consequences: CO2 emissions have been reduced only marginally over the last 25 years. With around 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, road traffic in germany makes a significant contribution to climate change and the associated problems. Individual motorized transport is responsible for around 70 percent of traffic emissions. "And that is exactly what has increased in the last 25 years. We simply can"t go on like this, because we"ll never achieve the climate goals we"ve set for ourselves", mader criticizes this development. In his view, demonizing diesel and relying more heavily on gasoline engines is not a solution either.

Climate killer carbon dioxide

Because CO2 emissions would then increase even more, and carbon dioxide is, after all, the real climate killer. But electromobility is no solution for a better climate balance if, as is currently the case, 50 percent of the electricity required is generated from fossil fuels.
In cities like nurnberg, erlangen, bamberg or bayreuth, individual transport is increasingly becoming the real problem, regardless of the mode of propulsion. Continuous influx, noise, fine dust pollution and simple lack of space made life difficult for residents. Mader's conclusion: "in the future, we will need less individual traffic while at the same time expanding local public transport." for example, the planned urban-umland railroad between nurnberg and erlangen would replace around 1400 car journeys a day. This would correspond to a car journey of more than eight kilometers. And the VGN manager has very specific ideas about what this expansion of the public transport system should look like.

Prerequisite number 1: a fully developed suburban rail network for the region, with corresponding frequency and P+R capacities, as well as more subway and tram services in nurnberg. "The opnv is only competitive with individual transport if the journey times are roughly the same."

Requirement number 2: express bus lines should be established for rural areas and regions without rail connections. "Up to now, our bus transport has often been one-sidedly geared to school traffic. To serve as many communities and parts of communities as possible. This is not interesting for commuters." the new philosophy: in the future, buses will get people to their jobs in the cities faster, without many stops in between.

Requirement number 3: smaller buses should be used between the smaller villages and communities and the express bus lines as a feeder to main stops. These buses in the rural area should be able to operate driverless. The reason is simple: "bus drivers are becoming increasingly difficult to recruit, and personnel costs account for around 60 percent of total costs in regional bus transport. Is this all just visionary spinning? No, not at all, our expert is quite sure about that. "I think that the necessary changes in opnv will take place in the next 20 years." and that, although an opnv expansion could certainly also cause problems. Many citizens were critical of new construction projects. "But", according to mader "we don't always need new land-eating railcars. Capacities can also be achieved by increasing block distances. This will simply bring more traffic onto the tracks. In the meantime, this can be made possible by new, modern control and safety technology in the course of digitalization."

And: the use of double-decker trains would also significantly increase existing capacities. However, past experience also shows that the opnv is only competitive if passengers only have to change buses once at the most. At the moment, there are often still problems when changing from the bus to the train. Mader cites the cities of bamberg and bayreuth as examples, where the central bus stops are too far away from the respective train stations. This still needs to be improved. Can a free opnv sustainably change the current usage behavior of mobile customers?? "No", says andreas mader. And he is pretty sure about that. "A free opnv is not goal-oriented. We have made the experience that the acceptance of the opnv does not depend so much on the price, but rather on the offer." and it has to be attractive. Just like the VGN with its "all-round mobile card" wants to achieve. In the future, you can order an autonomous bus, an autonomous car, a bicycle or a ticket for the regional train. At the end of the month there is a transparent bill, everything is conveniently debited from the account. Andreas mader: "that's exactly what i mean by an attractive opnv."

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