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The Station Pricing System: Transparent, Clear and Stable

The basis for the "SPS 11" pricing system is the classification of all approximately 5,400 stations into seven categories. Each station is assigned to a category according to standard national criteria.

The pricing system for use of DB Station&Service AG's passenger stations contains a price catalogue with seven category prices specific to the local transport authorities. Using a category price model makes it possible to avoid price fluctuations and price peaks, thus ensuring a high level of planning certainty for our customers. Each station is allocated to a category according to standard national features; as a rule, top-category stations (category 1 and 2) are primarily major junction stations, while the lower categories (categories 5 and 6) are usually stations with lesser traffic significance or infrastructure or, in the case of category 7, simply stopping points. Further explanation of the station categories is available on the internet at www.deutschebahn.com/bahnhofskategorien.

Using a mathematical model, stations are allocated to categories on the basis of three criteria – infrastructure, traffic significance and facilities – each with two defined components. The resulting values of all components are added together to give each station a basic categorisation number. Specified limit values are then applied to allocate each station to one of the seven categories. Altogether, category allocation of the stations is based on standard, objective and transparent standards.

The main feature of the second step in the station pricing system – the actual pricing step – is the use of specific prices for the different local transport authorities, enabling prices to better reflect the relevant market. There are 196 station prices (7 categories x 28 local transport authorities).

Each of the transport authority- and category-specific prices is based on a pure cost reference plus a standard percentage contribution margin (principle of standard cost coverage). This takes account of the pricing requirements stipulated by the regulatory bodies. Differences in cost or capacity utilisation may result in price differences among stations in the same category between different local transport authority areas. This is also the reason why the prices are not always graduated in steps up to the higher station categories.

With effect from 1 January 2013, the train length factor in the station pricing system was replaced by a transport service factor. Since this time, only the published station price has been charged for use of a station by regional and local trains. For stops by long-distance trains, the station price is multiplied by a factor of 2.4. As no multiplier now applies to stops by regional and local trains, there has been a considerable reduction in the number of arithmetically "weighted" stops in the calculation of the charges. This has automatically resulted in an increase in the basic prices. As a result of the different pricing methodology applied, it should therefore be remembered that the individual charges from 2013 onwards are not comparable with those for 2012.

The current price list, General Terms and Conditions and contacts for enquiries regarding the use of station infrastructure can be found at the top right of this page.

The prerequisite for usage is a valid Station Usage Agreement in which DB Station&Service AG grants the railway undertaking a right to use the station infrastructure.

Details for submitting applications for station use and for concluding Station Usage Agreements are contained in the General Terms and Conditions (www.deutschebahn.com/inbp-personenbahnhoefe). Please note that applications for non-regular (ad hoc) services should normally be received in writing by DB Station&Service AG 18 working days before the intended day of service. The application form for ad hoc station use is available via the menu at the top right of this page.