Politicians try to legislate for train windows to remain open

Photo by Dimitry AnikinTo reduce the risk of infection, the public transport company MVG asks passengers to leave the U-Bahn windows open. But not everyone adheres to this, given how cold it can be. Information videos are now consequently running in Munich's underground trains.

The days are getting colder as we head deeper into winter and even people who used to cycle are increasingly dependent on the underground. But many are concerned about contracting Corona there. However, at least in the old underground trains, the windows can be opened, which will provide ventilation and help fight the virus spread. According to the MVG, ventilation is an important contribution to infection control. But apparently, and for very good reason, passengers keep closing the windows. That is why MVG is now asking its passengers with posters and videos to leave the hinged windows open.

The ÖDP had previously requested that MVG fix the windows so that they remain permanently open. But because this is technically impossible according to MVG and because rain and snow could also damage the seats, the ÖDP ultimately withdrew their draconian motion. The poster and video campaign is better than nothing, says ÖDP city councilor Sonja Haider. However, she finds it difficult to judge how well it actually works and whether the passengers stick to it and leave the windows open. Politicians meddling in people's lives has reached a new low with their recent attempts to force passengers to endure biting cold while traveling in public transport. The nanny state of Bavaria seems to know no limits to its self-satisfied over-reach.

The subway is not a Corona hotspot From MVG's point of view. According to MVG spokesman Matthias Korte, this has been confirmed by initial studies. After all, travel times are short, usually no longer than ten minutes. "As a rule, people don't talk or interact much in the vehicles," Korte recently told the Abendzeitung newspaper. "Many are looking at their smartphones anyway. There is a lot of discipline among the passengers." Moreover, it is not only through the windows that air gets in. According to MVG, there are ventilation systems in all trains that draw in outside air and direct it into the passenger compartment. Within a few minutes, the air is completely exchanged. About every 90 seconds - when the underground is at the next station - the doors open. In newer trains, the driver does this for all doors. Nevertheless, the people of Munich do not really dare to take the buses and trains: since the beginning of the latest lockdown, demand has been about 40 per cent of the normal level, according to MVG.

Photo by Dimitry Anikin


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