What keeps Dresden moving?

Excursion to DVB Mobil – Dresden

From the day we first landed in Dresden, we admired the transport system in this lovely city i.e. the trams and buses especially by the level of efficiency and time management! How does this system operate so well? We wondered. On 23 March 2017, we finally got the answers, through an excursion to the Dresdner VerkehrsBetriebe (DVB) Mobil, the public transport company in charge of transport services in Dresden. Winfried Oelmann the head of operations gave a presentation on the company operations, specifically on the history of the company, work environment, training opportunities, route network, ticketing system, infrastructure, social activities among other things. The overall presentation was quite enlightening.

Afterwards, we were taken to the control room which operates 24/7 and it is where all the action happens. We got to learn how the entire system is synchronized i.e. the route network, time & efficiency of the trams and buses. There is also a customer care hotline which operates fulltime to respond to any inquiries or emergencies. Basically, this section is the heart of the company!

Key lessons learnt: 

There was so much to learn from this excursion it would not be possible to exhaust it all in this article. However, in summary, the highlights were;

  • Efficiency: DVB is highly efficient, ensuring all trams and buses operate as scheduled and all the route networks are operational through the control center
  • Incentives: DVB offers incentives to companies, students and the general public through discounts on individual and group tickets hence encouraging people to use public transport. From the environmental perspective, the more people use public transport, the less vehicles on the road and therefore less carbon emissions ☺
  • Public relations: DVB has a strong social media presence and a customer service team to keep the public informed/updated and to respond to enquiries and/or emergencies.

Overall, it was a great experience and there is so much our countries can borrow from this system, which would go a long way in improving most of our public transport systems and most of all, restoring our faith in government-run systems. Many thanks to the entire DVB team that made this excursion a joy!

Text and photos by Joyce Kiruri, EM40 course participant from Kenya.

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