GERMANY: On January 7 the Land of Berlin’s Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen, Urban Development Senator Andreas Geisel and Chair of transport operator BVG Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta signed a letter of intent to extend BVG’s operating contract from 2020 to 2035.

During this period the city would pay an annual operating subsidy of €600m, an increase of 7·6% on the current rate. However, BVG has also committed to improve its farebox recovery to 62%.

The letter of intent is intended to provide a degree of certainty to support BVG’s investment planning process. It sets out plans to establish a company to manage financing for new rolling stock. The Berlin Senate is to provide €3·1bn for the procurement of metro trains and trams. It is envisaged that this will be used to purchase 700 large-profile and 500 small-profile metro trainsets, and 200 trams. These will replace older rolling stock and provide extra capacity.