Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced a new effort to make their passenger trains live up to the German reputation of punctuality, and it is willing to risk leaving a few passengers stranded on the platform to do so.
Up until a few weeks ago, DB trains already closed their doors 10 seconds before the train was set to leave, but CEO Rüdiger Grube wanted to take that closed-door policy even further by making it 30 seconds instead, and there’s not much sympathy for anyone who shows up half a minute before departure.
DB began testing the new time with trains at the main stations in Cologne and Hanover six months ago, and the results were promising enough that the company rolled it out on long-distant trains nationwide on October 17.
Grube said that in the initial testing, the number of people that missed their train due to the time difference was quite small. The frustration passengers have over the new policy is well understood though, even Grube himself missed a train due to it, but for the 500 passengers who made it on time, they will no longer face delays for that small group of passengers who couldn’t be punctual.
Another change that DB has put into effect is reducing the print-at-home tickets to just one page instead of the previous three. While it is saying the change was done for environmental purposes, it could theoretically make the difference of making passengers 20 seconds early to the platform.