Thursday, March 10, 2011

Berlin public transportation | Deutsche Bahn on strike

Deutsche Bahn had a huge strike all over Germany on March 10.

It is a well known fact that the French do like to strike, but their German neighbors seem to be catching up. Anyway, the S-Bahn in Berlin is part of the Deutsche Bahn, so local employees were on strike as well, from 4.00am to 10.00am this morning. Of course this means the rest of the day was screwed up, as no transport system can recover after a strike very quickly.

Myself and most other people who had this odd inexplicable wish to use public transportation in Berlin today were not particularly happy about having to make detours on a normally direct and uninterrupted point A to point B route. What normally takes me 9 minutes took me about 30 today. Quelle dommage!

The thing about the Bahn is that it always has problems. In the winter when I came to Berlin and it was cold and snowy, the trains were late all the time and people were very pissed about that. (At first I wondered why they were mad about a 2-5 minute delay.) Later, a new winter schedule was introduced which meant the trains had a different speed and were to travel less often, the S-Bahn head had a lot of curses sent his way back then. It was a much talked about topic on the radio and could only be rivaled by Berlinale talk, a month later. Now the old schedule was introduced again and there was lots of confusion, trains were repeatedly late on the first few days . And now came the strike that left no one happy.

And the thing about this is… Berliners and some visitors are upset about that, myself included. But then I am just reminded how in Krasnodar, Russia there is NO schedule for anything, tram, bus, trolleybus, minibus. I mean, theoretically… there is a schedule as public transportation companies’ employees somehow have shifts and all that jazz, but there is no schedule at stops (and I don’t only mean an electronic schedule, you will not even find a toilet paper like sheet with times scribbled on it). Best thing you’ll know? Which buses/trolleybuses /trams pass this stop on their route.

My 90 year old grandmother is forced to stand at the stop for 20-30 until her means of transport shows up (normally too full), so after remembering this, a 2-3 minute delay and even a rare strike don’t seem so bad to me.

Apparently the DB employees who went on strike do have low salaries and they are somehow uneven for people with same skills, duties and experiences. This sounds surprising to me as DB has ridiculously high prices for their mediocre train service. And then a few people just pocket that and the rest eat crumbs. Sounds shitty to me. Strike on, my Lokführer comrades. (Just let me get to airports safe and on time.)



Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...