Local news translated – March 1, 2023

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, March 1, 2023

U-Bahn and Stuttgart/Esslingen buses impacted by strike Friday
Most public transportation services in Stuttgart, Esslingen, and several other cities across Baden-Württemberg will be at a standstill on Friday, Mar. 3, 2023, due to a warning strike by members of the ver.di union. View the full story here.

Youth ticket, energy price brake, COVID measures

Here’s what’s changing in Baden-Württemberg in March

A number of things will change for people in Germany as of today, March 1: Most of the remaining COVID measures will be abolished. Baden-Württemberg is also launching the Youth Ticket, which will allow schoolchildren, trainees and students to use local public transport throughout the southwest for 365 euros a year.

Energy price brakes take effect: On March 1, the price brakes for gas, district heating and electricity adopted by the government as a relief measure take effect.

The price brake reduces the monthly budget billing for prices above the cap. The annual statement for 2023 will then show how high consumption actually was. In the case of central heating, landlords or property managers will have to pass on the relief via the annual utility bill – which will therefore still take time.

Almost all remaining COVID measures are falling: For visitors to medical facilities, mandatory testing will be dropped on March 1. The mask requirement for employees and residents of nursing homes will also end.

The measures were supposed to remain in place until April. However, in view of the stable infection situation over the past few weeks, the federal and state governments agreed on an early withdrawal. The mask obligation for visitors of nursing homes, as well as for patients in medical practices is still valid until 7 April.

Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Health, Manne Lucha (Greens), explained: “We all know by now how we can protect ourselves against infectious diseases on our own responsibility. It is still true: If you are sick, stay at home. In addition, vaccination protection must always be kept up to date.”

Baden-Württembergs Jugendticket launches: Young people in Baden-Württemberg will be able to travel throughout the state for 365 euros a year. Anyone under the age of 21 can buy the Youth Ticket. Those in education or training may use the ticket until their 27th birthday.  The youth ticket is valid in all 19 transport associations in the country – except for long-distance travel, i.e. a trip with the ICE or IC.

Private Ebay sales are free of charge: Three, two, one, mine – private sales on Ebay will no longer cost anything as of March 1. The online retailer is eliminating the sales commission of eleven percent of the total price and the listing fee of 35 cents for these sales. For commercial traders, the fees will remain the same. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 1)


Chaos in Stuttgart – Disruption brings light rail traffic massively out of sync

The light rail traffic in Stuttgart was massively disrupted on Tuesday in the evening rush hour. According to the VVS, the reason was a technical malfunction.

According to an announcement in the light rail vehicles, there was no traction current between Charlottenplatz, Staatsgalerie and Hauptbahnhof.

Passengers are asked to change to the S-Bahns

As reported by the VVS on its page, there were significant schedule deviations and trip cancellations on all light rail lines (U1, U2, U3, U4, U5, U6, U7, U8, U9, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U19, U29, U34) due to the technical fault. The disruption was resolved around 6:30 p.m., but the effects will continue into the evening. (As of 6:40 p.m.)

Passengers were asked to switch to the S-Bahn trains in the Stuttgart city area if possible or to allow for more travel time on the light rail vehicles.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 1)


Fire in S-Feuerbach triggers large-scale operation – Wilhelm-Geiger-Platz cordoned off – one person arrested

Because of a fire, police, fire department and rescue service were in action on Tuesday afternoon at Wilhelm-Geiger-Platz in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. According to initial police reports, two people were injured and another was arrested.

As reported by the police, firefighters were on their way back from a mission at around 2:30 p.m. when they saw smoke coming out of a building at Wilhelm-Geiger-Platz. In addition, a man with a knife was in the area of the entrance of the affected building.

Alarmed police officers then approached the man and arrested him. Firefighters extinguished the fire and rescued a man and a woman from the apartment. Rescue workers attended to the injured and took them to hospitals. Wilhelm-Geiger-Platz was closed and there are traffic obstructions. Whether there is a connection between the fire and the arrested man is currently still unclear. The investigations are continuing. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 1)


A 81 between Böblingen and Sindelfingen – Only one lane towards Stuttgart on the weekend

From Friday evening until Monday morning, only one lane on the A 81 between Böblingen and Sindelfingen will be accessible in the direction of Stuttgart, as lanes for the emergency services will be installed. In the course of the A 81 expansion between Böblingen and Sindelfingen, traffic will be tight this coming weekend in the area of the interim lanes in the direction of Stuttgart. The road construction company will close the left lane from 10 p.m. on Friday, March 3, until 5 a.m. on Monday morning, March 6. The closure is taking place because so-called overpasses are being installed in the median strip of the interim lanes. This will enable emergency services to reach a possible accident site from either side during future operations in both directions.  (Boeblinger Kreiszeitung, Mar 1)