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Berlin restricts local transport: omicron is rampant among bus drivers


Some popular bus lines only run every 20 minutes: the Berlin transport company is thinning out its offer because the corona virus is spreading among employees. The obligation to test also seems to cause problems.

Enlarge image

A BVG bus that is still moving

Photo: Britta Pedersen / picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild

In the capital, Omikron is increasingly affecting local public transport.

The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), operators of buses, trams and subways, are registering a rapidly increasing number of drivers who have to call in sick or have to be in quarantine.

Operations are now being restricted, as the company announced on Friday.

"The development of the pandemic does not stop at the transport companies," says the BVG.

"For a few days now, this has been noticeable with increasing sick leave and quarantine numbers."

The bus timetable is now being thinned out, for example on routes where fewer passengers are traveling.

The company assures that the passengers would still reach their destination.

As of Wednesday, the well-known bus line 100 will only run every 20 minutes on weekdays, reports the Berlin “Tagesspiegel”.

The M27 metro bus line from Pankow via Wedding and Moabit to Jungfernheide should only run every ten minutes.

The same applies to line 245 between the main station and the Zoo station.

3G: A striking number of sick leave on the S-Bahn

How to proceed is not yet clear.

“It may then also affect the subway and trams.

But we don't know exactly yet," said a BVG spokesman for the newspaper.

The goal is, despite everything, to get a "stable offer" on the road and rail.

The Berlin S-Bahn, which is operated by Deutsche Bahn, has already had to restrict traffic due to an unusually high number of employee illnesses.

That was in December, everything is currently going back to normal.

It is not yet clear whether new problems are threatening because of the looming »omicron wall«.

According to an rbb report, more than one in ten train drivers had called in sick at the beginning of December alone, long before the rapid increase in the number of infections.

At that time, the 3G rule was introduced in the workplace, which stands for vaccinated, recovered or tested – so those who refuse to be vaccinated must test themselves.

Many unvaccinated employees of local transport companies in and around Berlin simply “don’t feel like testing and stay away completely, so call in sick,” the “Berliner Kurier” quoted an industry insider as saying.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-01-14

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