Where Public Transport Runs on GUTi
C Wibmer, Landratsamt, Bavarian Forest, DE
GUTi - tourists in a rural region use public transport free of charge. Better acceptance of tourism and leisure mobility is important to ensure the service of public transport.
GUTi is no new propulsion system, yet none the less it contributes to a very environmentally aware mobility throughout the Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald as well as the Naturparkregion Bayerischer Wald in rural south-east Germany.
GUTi is an acronym standing for "Gästeservice Umwelt-Ticket" (guest service environment ticket).
It allows the fare-free travel by train and bus inside the territory of the Bayerwald Ticket, encompassing over 1100 kilometres of transport network.
Furthermore, in the Bavarian dialect GUTi means candy. For Tourists it is just that, a treat, enabling them to traverse the holiday region around the Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald, inside the Naturpark Bayerischer Wald, free of charge.
The cost of a regular ticket allowing equivalent travel is 7 euros a day.
The transport network is provided and serviced by the following five transportation companies:
- Deutsche Bahn / DB Regio (trips of the Waldbahn between Plattling - Zwiesel - Bayerisch Eistenstein as well as Zwiesel ? Bodenmais and Zwiesel ? Grafenau)
- Deutsche Bahn / Ostbayernbus (locally known as RBO, biggest provider of public transport)
- Regentalbahn AG ( subsidiary to the Länderbahn and NETINERA Deutschland GmbH, railroad network provider for the Oberpfalzbahn and carrier of both Oberpfalzbahn and Waldbahn.
- Two small local companies, Lambürger and Wenzl.
Currently the project includes 14 communes with approximately 1500 establishments (from boarding houses to 4 star hotels) together amounting to around 1.3 million overnight stays a year.
In the partaking communes the guests are provided with an electronically generated guest-card after checking in. All accommodation facilities are connected to the new WinTOP system and can give out the tickets. There is a practical credit card sized guest-card for every guest, including children. After checking in, the card can immediately be used as a ticket.
Data on the card serves as criteria for control and counterfeiting safety. It contains information on the date of arrival and departure, the name of the guest, the establishment that provided the card and an indication on whether it belongs to a child or adult. Plastic cards were intentionally not used, for they would have generated further costs in hardware. The paper card can be created with any standard printer and replaces the usual registration form. This paper variant conserves both funds as well as the environment.
The billing is similarly simple, a central office of coordination collects 31 cents per overnight stay from the respective commune. Of these revenues 30 cent are given to the transportation providers as approved fare refunds, who divide it between themselves. In addition the central office is mediator and contact for the communes and transportation providers. Here information on schedules and tour proposals for the touristic usage of public transport are established. It also operates the internet platform www.guti.by and performs other duties such as public relations.
GUTi started out in may 2010 with seven communes, growing steadily due to exclusively good experience.
- Very high guest satisfaction with solely positive feedback
- The apparent added value of the GUTi guest card has contributed to establishments being more willing to register their guests.
- GUTi provides an important contribution to the acquisition of regular guests, and is relevant to booking.
- Public transport is now more in use as a means to experience the region, especially in bad weather.
- The utilised capacity of all Transport has increased by an average of 50%. During certain times it has more than doubled
- The higher usage helps conserve and improve public transport in rural areas, which is an important factor to local development.
- It has raised awareness and acceptance for public transport.
- Absolute satisfaction of the communes concerning the introduction of GUTi.
- Strengthened cooperation and team spirit of the communes.
- Guests are more active, contributing to the creation of value in the region.
An expansion of the project on the whole of the Bavarian forest is planned for the future.
Most data are empirically, e.g.:
• The size of the public transport network included in Bayerwald-Ticket represents the sum of all bus and train lines of the participating transport companies (about 1,100 kilometers)
• The 14 communities, participating in the GUTi-project have a contractual relationship with the coordination-office
• 1,500 tourist accommodation establishments is the sum of the numbers submitted by the 14 communities
• The communities and the transport companies meet at least twice a year to report their experiences
Association for European Transport