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Old April 16th, 2014, 06:49 PM   #2081
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In my opinion it was a stupid idea to legalise long distance busses. They take up far too much space on the road, are ugly and don't have enough space for tall people. Additionally, they are starting a price war with riddiculously low prices.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 06:54 PM   #2082
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Are tall people being forced to ride them? And god forbid people could actually profit from additional choices. We can't have that in Eco-Socialist Germany. Nope, you'll ride the train for €120 and like it.

Why are you complaining about their poor design anyway? Do you drive on the Autobahn for the scenery?
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Old April 17th, 2014, 02:04 PM   #2083
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In my opinion it was a stupid idea to legalise long distance busses. They take up far too much space on the road, are ugly and don't have enough space for tall people. Additionally, they are starting a price war with riddiculously low prices.
Huh? Even if it is at a low price, I would still not ride a bus unless the train was ridiculously priced by comparison. If it is within my means, I would still take the train rather than the bus. It's quieter, the ride is smoother, it's easier to get up and walk around etc etc. Many countries have an effective multi-modal transport system. Having good levels of competition ensures you as a consumer are getting the best deal. Monopolies can lead to abuse.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 02:13 PM   #2084
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Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
Are tall people being forced to ride them? And god forbid people could actually profit from additional choices. We can't have that in Eco-Socialist Germany. Nope, you'll ride the train for €120 and like it.

Why are you complaining about their poor design anyway? Do you drive on the Autobahn for the scenery?
Ahh stop that eco-socialist bullshit. It doesn't exist.
Of course, choice is good, but buses ar shit anyway.
(I'm not forced to ride them, I just don't want to live in a country without rails. Buses are so 1960ties.)
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Old April 17th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #2085
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I rather ride trains too.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 05:20 PM   #2086
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I'd rather drive my car. Actually cheaper than booking a DB train ticket a couple of days in advance.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #2087
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If DB isn't losing market, then it doesn't have reason to lower the price of tickets.

If DB starts losing market, it is on an excellent position to compete, since its resources and network dwarf any other.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #2088
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I'd rather drive my car. Actually cheaper than booking a DB train ticket a couple of days in advance.
I'm not sure about that. If you already have a car and don't consider the fixed cost (purchasing price, insurance, tax), then it might be true that fuel, wear and fees (parking, etc.) are cheaper than a Normalpreis. But in a fair comparison I guess that a car is more expensive.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 10:52 PM   #2089
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If DB isn't losing market, then it doesn't have reason to lower the price of tickets.
One would of course have to estimate the potential effects properly, but it could be that they'd increase market share and increase profits at the same time by doing so. Normal companies try to grow not merely keep the status quo.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 12:10 PM   #2090
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I'm not sure about that. If you already have a car and don't consider the fixed cost (purchasing price, insurance, tax), then it might be true that fuel, wear and fees (parking, etc.) are cheaper than a Normalpreis. But in a fair comparison I guess that a car is more expensive.
Drving for example from Basel to Berlin will cost about 100,- euro in fuel alone. The normal price for a second class ticket on that route is about 140,-
But anyone who travels more than a few times a year by train will do good obtaining a bahncard, and then taking the train long distance will be cheaper than driving, even when you buy tickets at the last minute... With the added bonus that you don't have to drive yourself.

In my case I don't even have a car at all. Never had a car, and the accumulated savings so far are quite significant.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 10:04 PM   #2091
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We've had this discussion many times before. DB has as potential competitors not so much the private rail companies, which have admittedly attracted some of the local traffic, but hardly any long-distance relations; railways in general must compete with airplanes (for long-distance city to city relations); and with car (basically at all levels). Now long-distance buses add to the list of competitors. Should DB try to be cheap and offer rock-bottom comofort, put little effort into speed in order to compete with buses or should they try to offer speed and comfort as well as chains from point to point with other traffic services to impress potential car drivers or should they aim at high-speed city to city connections to grab air passengers? Any way the priority goes, it will probably be to the detriment of competition with one of the other traffic carriers. Nonetheless DB of course is a good position to face these challenges, if their executives don't sleep on the job, as they apparently have been in the first years of bus competion in Germany. But then again, executive posts there seem to be a well-funded retirement position for goverment officals....
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Old April 18th, 2014, 10:20 PM   #2092
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In my opinion it was a stupid idea to legalise long distance busses. They take up far too much space on the road, are ugly and don't have enough space for tall people. Additionally, they are starting a price war with riddiculously low prices.
In the UK buses are legal since forever, operate a multitude of routes, are much cheaper than trains for most distances and not all that slow (except if you go to, say, Scotland), as the UK does not have HSR to begin with.

The result? Rail travel is growing like there's no tomorrow, and has shown no signs of slowing down over the past 10 years.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 10:35 PM   #2093
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Germany should have built a maglev network to take care of providing infrastructure to air competition, which would free up more space for fast, but not ICE-level comfortable, trains to compete with cars (like 3+2 seating, limits on luggage, no catering, fare gates etc).
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Old April 19th, 2014, 12:33 AM   #2094
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Drving for example from Basel to Berlin will cost about 100,- euro in fuel alone. The normal price for a second class ticket on that route is about 140,-
But anyone who travels more than a few times a year by train will do good obtaining a bahncard, and then taking the train long distance will be cheaper than driving, even when you buy tickets at the last minute... With the added bonus that you don't have to drive yourself.

In my case I don't even have a car at all. Never had a car, and the accumulated savings so far are quite significant.
Except that you can only afford not to own a car when live in an area which is very well served by public transport. These areas, however, tend to be rather expensive to live in. Which means that you didn't save too much. At least you didn't save much money.

Furthermore is the Basel to Berlin ticket quite a bargain because it is a very well served main route. If you travel only this distance than you are certain better off taking DB. If you do, however, go to Nürnberg instead or anywhere else off this main line you will find out that ticket prices aren't always so favourable. And once you go to a remote town, let alone villages and hamlets, you may even discover that rail travel isn't even an option.
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Old April 19th, 2014, 11:09 AM   #2095
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In the UK buses are legal since forever, operate a multitude of routes, are much cheaper than trains for most distances and not all that slow (except if you go to, say, Scotland), as the UK does not have HSR to begin with.

The result? Rail travel is growing like there's no tomorrow, and has shown no signs of slowing down over the past 10 years.
Megabus takes 6 hours 40 minutes to get from Sunderland to London (approx 260 miles/416 km). National Express takes 7 hours 30 minutes. Yes they're a lot cheaper than using the train but from Sunderland I can use Grand Central which takes just under 3 hours 50 minutes or use the ECML from Newcastle which takes as little as 2 hours 36 minutes but the average time is about 3 hours. It takes 20 minutes by car from my house to all the starting points. Not hard to see why the train is the better option.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:33 AM   #2096
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Megabus takes 6 hours 40 minutes to get from Sunderland to London (approx 260 miles/416 km). National Express takes 7 hours 30 minutes. Yes they're a lot cheaper than using the train but from Sunderland I can use Grand Central which takes just under 3 hours 50 minutes or use the ECML from Newcastle which takes as little as 2 hours 36 minutes but the average time is about 3 hours. It takes 20 minutes by car from my house to all the starting points. Not hard to see why the train is the better option.
This is true now, but only because the competition pushed the rail industry to develop a more flexible and attractive fare structure. DB is still pretty well protected by the lawmakers - remember they are one of the largest bus operators in Germany and even on freight there are truck bans on Sundays. The only open access operator is HKX, otherwise the franchise bidding system replaces one monopoly with another. The relative de-regulation of coach travel will probably have an effect of increasing the size of the market for travel as new entrants bring a degree of innovation. DB is good but can be better and some competition won't do it any harm.

In the UK rail still has a lot to learn - try being asked for £400 fare for 3 from London to Sheffield at 6am on a bank holiday on an empty train (we already had tickets for later in the day but a death in the family necessitated an early return). They wanted more because it was travel before 9 on a bank holiday, there was no-one working so it was hardly a rush.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:57 AM   #2097
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This is true now, but only because the competition pushed the rail industry to develop a more flexible and attractive fare structure. DB is still pretty well protected by the lawmakers - remember they are one of the largest bus operators in Germany and even on freight there are truck bans on Sundays. The only open access operator is HKX, otherwise the franchise bidding system replaces one monopoly with another. The relative de-regulation of coach travel will probably have an effect of increasing the size of the market for travel as new entrants bring a degree of innovation. DB is good but can be better and some competition won't do it any harm.

In the UK rail still has a lot to learn - try being asked for £400 fare for 3 from London to Sheffield at 6am on a bank holiday on an empty train (we already had tickets for later in the day but a death in the family necessitated an early return). They wanted more because it was travel before 9 on a bank holiday, there was no-one working so it was hardly a rush.
Personally I don't think long distance coach travel is a viable option in a country the size of Germany. It will probably work in the Rhine-Ruhr-Main regions due to the closeness of the high population centres but going from Hamburg to Munich would probably be to far.

The fare structure in the UK is ridiculous. My Norwegian cousin came over a few years ago and went to see her father in London before coming up to Sunderland. She walked into KX ticket office expecting a similar fare set up as Norway. She got a shock. £195.00 for a walk on single in 2nd class. She could've flown up and got a taxi from the airport for less than £100.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 11:30 AM   #2098
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That's plain wrong. Just have a look on the extense of intercity coach travel in Spain or Scotland. Or the US or Australia. Admittedly, they have a far less dense passenger rail network but the population density in fact is a lot less than in Germany. It works especially well with large population centres far away from each other and decent distances between the cities - Hamburg - Berlin would be a very good example.

In fact, this could even be routes where even overnight coaches (maybe with beds?) could find a market.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:12 PM   #2099
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That's plain wrong. Just have a look on the extense of intercity coach travel in Spain or Scotland. Or the US or Australia. Admittedly, they have a far less dense passenger rail network but the population density in fact is a lot less than in Germany. It works especially well with large population centres far away from each other and decent distances between the cities - Hamburg - Berlin would be a very good example.

In fact, this could even be routes where even overnight coaches (maybe with beds?) could find a market.
Scotland is a small country which is why intercity coach travel is viable. It works in the US & Australia because the only other viable public transport is flying. Do you really want to be on a coach for 2, 3 or 4 days when you can fly in less than 8 hours? I've done it and it isn't much fun, believe me.

The point is long distance coach travel isn't very attractive when you have other options available. Hamburg to Berlin would take approx 9 hours by coach and is probably on the limit to which people would want to travel. People would still use the coach service but that would be because of financial constraints rather than preferred choice.

Putting beds on coaches would reduce pax capacity so would bump up prices thus negating any financial savings using the coach instead of the train.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 03:14 PM   #2100
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Except that you can only afford not to own a car when live in an area which is very well served by public transport. These areas, however, tend to be rather expensive to live in.
These areas also tend to be where the well paid jobs are, so that balances again.


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Furthermore is the Basel to Berlin ticket quite a bargain because it is a very well served main route. If you travel only this distance than you are certain better off taking DB. If you do, however, go to Nürnberg instead or anywhere else off this main line you will find out that ticket prices aren't always so favourable. And once you go to a remote town, let alone villages and hamlets, you may even discover that rail travel isn't even an option.
Basel Nürnberg is 96,- normal price. With Bahncard it's less of course. What is your point?

I'm not bothered by the fact that I can't reach every point in Germany. I have no need for this.
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