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Reporting item 18 – Lacking standards for grant-funding of stations and stops for local public transport result in excess cost

Nov 13, 2018

Executive summary

In accordance with a federal programme, the Ministry co-funds local public transport projects to improve the transport situation in municipalities. This includes municipal projects such as stations for trams (streetcars) and underground railways, and projects of Deutsche Bahn AG (the national railway company) such as stops for rapid transit railways and regional trains. In the case of national railway projects, the Ministry applies uniform standards and funding ceilings to determine the amount of its financial support. For instance, the Ministry gives grants towards the construction of roofs over railway platforms only up to a certain size and a certain price per square meter. The standards and ceilings provide for the basic requirements to keep the railway installation functional. No such uniform standards and grant ceilings apply to the co-funding of stations for trams and underground railways. This has resulted in excess federal expenditure in the range of several millions of euros. For example, the Ministry approved costs for roofs, trim panels and pavements that were up to three times higher than the funding ceilings applicable to rapid transit railways and regional trains.

The principle that expenditure is only eligible for co-funding where this is necessary to keep the respective installations functional must also apply to trams and underground railways. Expenditures in excess of these limits will have to be borne by the federal states and municipalities concerned. Uniform standards and funding ceilings would make it easier for the Federal Transport Ministry to assess the need for federal budget grants. At the same time, such standards will increase transparency of the Ministry’s decision-making and ensure equal treatment for bodies requesting co-funding.

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