The idea of introducing a snack-sales service on a regional train line (Kleve–Krefeld) was suggested as part of a pilot project to retrain unemployed people.
The trolley-based service, known as the ROBI (Rollendes Bistro), offers passengers a range of drinks and snacks. Designed specifically for commuters, the service operates during the morning and evening rush hours.
Kleve, GERMANY The project was instigated by the NPO (non-profit organisation) Integra GmbH, which introduced the service on 10 November 1998 and has developed it in close cooperation with the town of Kleve. Integra is also responsible for operating the service. Deutsche Bahn (DB) AG is also a stakeholder.
In the morning, passengers are able to buy a coffee or snack for a reasonable price during their journey. Also, the presence of additional staff in the trains increases people's sense of safety and makes it easier for them to get information about a particular situation.
Four complementary objectives have been identified:
- DB AG is aiming to improve customer satisfaction levels on the line.
- The town of Kleve is investing resources in training unemployed people and getting them back into work rather than investing in welfare benefits.
- Integra is thus able to contribute to getting the long-term unemployed into work.
- For unemployed people, there is the prospect of solid employment opportunities.
The service aims to improve comfort in regional trains in order to persuade commuters to use the train rather than their car for day-to-day travel. More widespread implementation of this kind of service could improve the image of rail travel.
Ridership on ROBI trains is around 11,000 passengers on working days. Given that the project was not in itself intended purely to make a profit, the authority made a significant contribution to its funding: total costs over the first year were €830,000. The breakdown of subsidies was as follows: €500,000 from co-funding from the Land (North Rhine–Westphalia) and the EU (AQUA [Arbeit und Qualifizierung] programme) and €215,000 from the municipal authority in Kleve (from savings made by reducing welfare benefits), with the rest covered by the operator (Integra), who was able to generate a profit of around €115,000 on sales
Combining the specific interests of each key player involved in the project proved highly effective. According to the operator, such a service is only profitable during peak times. Profitability can only be guaranteed at the weekend or in the evening if it coincides with a special event (such as a football match).
Articles présentant le projet (ou des projets similaires) :
Articles presenting the project (or similar projects):
Article published in Der Nahverkehr, December 1998 issue, pp. 66–68.