Berlin – The Omicron virus variant means that more and more people are getting infected in Berlin too – which is increasing the number of sick leave and quarantine measures. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and their passengers are now feeling the effects of this. From January 19, the state company will restrict operations to ten bus lines, the BVG announced on Friday. Depending on how the Corona situation develops, further restrictions could come into force in Germany’s largest local public transport company on January 24th. The BVG does not rule out that subway and tram traffic will also be affected. In the past few weeks, BVG buses and trains have also been on the usual timetable, according to the transport company. “However, the development of the pandemic does not stop at the transport companies. For a few days, this has been noticeable with increasing sick leave and quarantine numbers. As announced, the BVG is prepared for this and is adjusting its offer accordingly in order to continue to maintain a reliable transport service for passengers with a stable timetable in all parts of the city. ”It is about remaining predictable for customers, said BVG spokesman Jannes Schwentu on Friday.
Lines X11 and X21 are also only used every 20 minutes
Initially, the restrictions are limited to the bus area. The first package of measures envisages reducing the number of kilometers traveled in BVG bus transport on weekdays by 3.2 percent. Traffic performance is said to decrease by 1.2 percent on Saturdays and by 0.5 percent on Sundays. The bus lines M27, M43, M44, M46, X11, X21, X83, 100, 181 and 245 are affected. A “solid cycle” will be maintained, all sections and stops in the Berlin bus network will continue to be served. The metro lines will run at least every ten minutes. However, lines X11 and X21 will be thinned out to a 20-minute cycle. From Monday to Friday, the former tourist line 100, which runs between City West and the historic center in City East, will only run every 20 minutes from next Wednesday. The buses are now running much more frequently. But tourism has fallen sharply. “When selecting the lines, the BVG also paid attention to where passenger demand is already somewhat lower in the current pandemic situation,” the company explained. A second stage will probably come into force on January 24th. The details of the second package are still being coordinated and should be communicated as soon as possible. “Of course, we will continue to react flexibly and appropriately to keep Berlin mobile during this time,” said Rolf Erfurt, BVG Operations Director. “Our goal is to always get a stable offer for our passengers on the roads and on the rails, even if adjustments are unfortunately necessary.”
S-Bahn has lifted restrictions again
The S-Bahn Berlin also had to slightly thin out its offer at the end of last year after the number of sick leave had increased. At the beginning of the year, however, the changes were reversed on six lines.
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