Markets and strategy
In 2022, the German regional rail passenger transport and public local transport market slowly recovered from Covid-19-related restrictions. Demand increased gradually in the first half of 2022. In addition, the temporary introduction of the 9-Euro-Ticket had a positive impact. Demand increased significantly during the period in which the 9-Euro-Ticket was available. We assume that its successor, the Germany-Ticket, will also have a positive effect on passenger numbers and the fare system in general.
In the medium term, we expect that the trends for further transport growth in local transport are intact. These include the continued attractiveness of modern metropolitan areas, the influx of families in particular into suburban areas, combined with a professional commute to the metropolitan areas, and the continued high importance of environmental and climate protection, as well as increasing acceptance of sharing services. In the short-term, the industry solution proposed by the Federal Government and Federal States stabilized public transport during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the medium and long term, only increasing allocations of regionalization funds will create stability. DB Regional intends to continue to benefit from this positive market environment as the largest provider. DB Regional is oriented towards the Strong Rail strategy and interprets it for local transport under the motto “Regional and urban mobility.” DB Regional understands local public transport as bridging different modes of transport and brings together regional rail passenger transport, bus, on-demand, sharing and pooling offers and, in the future, its platform solutions as well. This is carried out in collaboration with ioki, Clever Shuttle or Mobimeo.
In order to achieve the objectives, the strategy of DB Regional consists of the strategic building blocks of the Strong Rail strategy:
- More robust: Modernization and digitalization are key factors for sustainable quality improvement and upgrades of public transport. To this end, DB Regional is investing in a gradual increase in fleet strength and a consistent redesign of the vehicles. Sufficient and qualified personnel are an equally important success factor for robust operations. DB Regional continuously works on the recruitment and qualification of personnel and develops solutions, for example. through cooperations with public transport authorities and other train operating companies, as well as cross-sector campaigns and qualification concepts. DB Regional is also increasingly looking to new business concepts and cooperations in other areas, thereby responding to a changing market. The increasing fragmentation of transport contracts is intended to enable as many companies in the industry as possible to take part in the tender procedures. We are responding to these changes by adapting our business model. By expanding our services to third parties, for example in maintenance or pool and life cycle management, we are increasingly developing as a maintenance partner for competitors and public transport authorities.
- More efficient: Quality and control capability remain our key issues. Achieving a high level of customer satisfaction and avoiding contractual penalties and train cancellations are critical to success. To increase operating quality and vehicle availability, we are implementing the DB excellence system as part of the stable processes building block. In this way, we are laying the foundations for reliability and punctuality and ultimately more customer satisfaction. Industrialization, automation, digitalization, platform solutions and intelligently linked data of high quality and availability are key levers here.
- More modern: The development of new mobility concepts is becoming increasingly important. Cities, outskirts and rural areas each have different mobility requirements and require close integration and cooperation with other modes of transport. Together with other intra-Group partners, DB Regional is expanding its intermodal mobility solutions and positioning them on the market. With the continuous expansion of competencies and partnerships, DB Regional is continuing to reinforce its role as the driver of innovation in the industry. Due to the continuous development of new mobility solutions such as on-demand services, DB Regional intends to prove itself in an increasingly intense competitive environment and meet the changing needs of customers. Innovation and design projects such as the IdeasTrain translate customer needs into tangible concepts.
- Greener: Shifting transport to energy-efficient rail is an essential element in achieving the Federal Government’s climate protection targets. In line with DB’s climate protection target, 100% of DB Regional’s traction current is to come from renewable energies by 2038. In addition, the use of fossil fuels will be scaled back further, for example through the energy-efficient driving style of our drivers and the use of supportive assistance systems. The establishment of alternative drives and the use of alternative fuels will offer even greater opportunities in future to reduce CO₂ emissions.