Balancing performance and finances

17 February 2012  •  Author(s): Jürgen Fenske, Chief Executive Officer, Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB) and President, Association of German Transport Companies (VDV)

Public transport in Germany is of high quality. Due to its technical and operational competence, the German public transport system is a shining example of strategic public transport for many countries to observe. The high quality level of German public transport depends on many factors, not least on sufficient funding.

Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB) is the fourth biggest municipal public transport company in Germany. With 272.4 million passengers recorded in 2010, KVB is the number one mobility service provider in the metropolis of Cologne on the Rhine. Since 1995, the passenger load has increased by more than 25%.

KVB offers its transport services on 11 lightrail lines and 51 bus lines. The transport scope amounts to 53.6 million vehicle kilo – metres or 7.7 billion seat kilometres (in 2010). To deal with such figures, there are approximately 300 buses and 368 light-rail vehicles in operation. The bus route network is 553km-long and the light-rail network is 240km-long. In 2010, there were approximately 3,200 employees working at KVB at a total expenditure of nearly €302 million. Over 74% of that expenditure was covered by fare revenue and other sources of revenue. The remaining amount of approximately €86 million was provided by cross-subsidising within the Stadtwerke Köln GmbH, in which the municipal companies of Cologne are united.

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