18 Mar

No Public Transport for First-Semester Students?!

English Summary of https://lak-berlin.de/pm-kulanz-statt-extrakosten/ 

The Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB, berlin’s public transportation service) announced, that first semester students who cannot receive their semester ticket due to the Corona emergency will not obtain usage permission for public transport. Instead, first-semester students should buy single tickets, even though they have already transferred the ticket price of 193.80 €. A refund of the tickets is not planned. 

The LAK (Alliance of General Students’ Committees of Berlin) complained that no communication happened with them, although they are the contractual partners of the transport companies according to the Berlin University Law. Moreover, the VBB and university management had preliminary talks without informing them in any way. This episode is part of the ongoing questionable information policy between General Students’ Committees and official representatives, i.e. the government and the university. In particular, these representatives prevent a decision process in which students will not be disadvantaged. 

The VBB arguments that expenses for students regarding public transport tickets are not necessary since no events take place at the universities. Nevertheless, Students with jobs in care or retail trade need mobility. Also, doctor visits or caring for risk groups require public transport usage. However, the contract between student representatives and transport companies covers those activities and so the argumentation of the VBB is obsolete. 

We demand that the certificate of enrollment should be accepted as valid legitimation for accessing public transport! 

FYI: Tickets that need to be renewed every semester at special machines (not TU Berlin) are supposed to be sufficient as usage permission for public transport until 30.04.20, i.e. one month after the end of the semester, in connection with a valid certificate of enrollment.