#91: €9 to become €69, social housing fail, monkeypox
And that new BVG pattern
Happy Friday 20 Percent!
I’ll keep this part brief today because I’m still suffering the beast known as Covid-19. This past week I’ve binged more TV than a middle-schooler on summer break. But I just want to leave this here: Federal transport minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is now supportive of a nationwide public transport ticket (ergo, a permanent €9 ticket).
Thursday the association of public transport providers said it, too, likes the idea and named a price in an interview in Germany’s stuffiest newspaper, the FAZ. The association wants the €9 ticket to cost €69 a month in the future — monthly and annual pass holders wouldn’t automatically qualify and the question of who would pick up the €12 billion bill still needs to be clarified.
Could it be that Germany is about to make something … simpler?
A tiny step when our climate needs massive leaps but I’ll take it. Let’s hope it happens.
Have a good weekend!
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The Berlin corona stats for Friday, July 15
Received booster: 62.8% (62.7% Tuesday)
New cases in one day: 3,897 (4,860 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,676 (+12 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 506.4 (504 Tuesday)
🔴7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 10 (8.6 Tuesday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 5.1% (5.8% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
Not a surprise: Fewer riding without a ticket
BVG thugs, er, ticket checkers found far fewer people riding without a ticket (schwarzfahren) in June than a year earlier in yet another sign that the €9 ticket is a good thing, according to RBB. From June 1 to 26, only 5,350 people were found to be lacking a ticket compared to 27,000 in the same period a year earlier. About 442,000 passengers were checked during the period. On the S-Bahn, about 300,000 checks from June 1 to 24 found 2,100 riders without a ticket, compared to just under 23,000 a year earlier.
Not enough social housing
Only one-tenth of Berliners that have a right to subsidized social housing live in social housing because not only does the city not have enough subsidized housing, the number of social apartments is decreasing, according to RBB24. About 968,900 households would qualify for social housing (via a document known as a Wohnberechtigungsschein) but only 88,901 apartments are reportedly available to the households. And, over the next five years, about 20,000 flats will lose the status. Although the current Berlin administration wants to build at least 5,000 subsidized units per year, that wouldn’t even maintain the status quo. Who qualifies? RBB says a single household with an income of €16,800 or less.
Monkeypox vaccinations start
Berlin doctors this week began offering monkeypox vaccinations after bureaucratic stupidity led to unnecessary delays. The capital is home to the majority of the nearly 2,000 cases in Germany. It’s transmitted via close personal contact and if you think you need the jab, contact the health office workdays between 9am and 3pm at 030 9018-41000. They say they’ve got multilingual counselors.
The BVG actually never had permission to use the blue-red-black urban camouflage design that became synonymous with the public transport authority over the past decade, a Hamburg court ruled late last year. They’re no longer allowed to peddle merch with the pattern and had to come up with a replacement, which it unveiled in two double-decker buses earlier this month (the rest of the buses and trains will be gradually re-upholstered). It supposedly highlights the city’s diverse population but is clearly lacking in Döner chefs, clubbers with plate-sized pupils and entitled mothers ramming people off the sidewalks with over-priced prams. And also dogs. And dogsh*t.
Event recommend: Podfest Berlin
This weekend PodFest Berlin celebrates Berlin podcasting and podcasters with 44 podcast recordings, 26 seminars, workshops and panels, 2 concerts, and a Sunday Ice Cream Social (free ice cream) plus giveaways from Shure, Focusrite, Riverside and Hindenburg. Have a podcast pitch? You’ve got up to five minutes and an expert panel will give feedback. Sign up here and get a free festival pass. Sunday at 1pm panelists Daniel Ryan Spaulding, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Nathan Ma and Joel Borgol will discuss the tropes and stereotypes of Berlin. Use code: 20%for20% to get 20% off a €10 one-day pass or €39 weekend pass. Tickets and more info here.
Every week there's some random politically charged comment that's either intentionally or (worse) unintentionally incorrect at its core. I'm seriously considering unsubscribing after a long long time... check your Tesla and monkeypox vaccination facts again. You're having a lot of influence at this point, be more careful and do better.
I'm totally confused about podcasts. Why do they need funding or celebrating? Are they really making money when no one else in media is? Isn't this another one of those art & sports & social media things where 99.999% of people doing them make zero money & you only hear about the few that go viral (transiently)? I'm surprised that Berlin coudn't get 4444 podcasts recorded in a weekend?