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HOCHBAHN Annual Report 2015

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  • Hochbahn
  • Hamburg
  • Annual
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  • Buses
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We link up Hamburg |

We link up Hamburg | Management | Management Report | Annual Financial Statements | Further Information AN INTERVIEW WITH HENRIK FALK AND GÜNTER ELSTE A discussion with the new Chief Executive Officer and his predecessor Mr Elste, what is your assessment of your last business year as CEO of the Hamburger Hochbahn AG? 2015 was a successful financial year for our company. The HOCHBAHN was able to increase the number of passengers using it once again and increase the services on offer, both in quality and quantity. At the same time Günter Elste we made good progress with important projects which are vital for Hamburg’s future, whether it is the extension of the U4 to Elbbrücken or the accelerated conversion of our U-Bahn stations for barrier-free access. Expanding the local public transport system, especially the U-Bahn network, is a decisive factor in getting to grips with a growing population in the Hamburg metropolitan region and the increasing public transport volume that brings with it. With our plans for extending the U-Bahn network we took an important step forward here in 2015. The feasibility studies for the U4 extension to Horner Geest and the first construction phase of the new U5 from Bramfeld via Steilshoop to the City Nord show: yes, both major projects are doable! And when you look back further, What conclusions would you draw after 20 years as the head of the HOCHBAHN? It was a marvellous gift for me to be able to serve my home city and the community as the head of the HOCHBAHN for 20 years. Together with a strong team, and with restructuring efforts which were sometimes quite drastic as well as a great deal of courage, we succeeded in making the HOCHBAHN one of the most successful public transport companies in the whole of Europe. Just one example: we managed to raise the cost coverage ratio, 65 percent when we started, to 90 percent today. The HOCHBAHN today is a healthy company which does not need to shy away from competition and has a clear vision: “intelligent mobility for a future worth living in”. That is a collective achievement the entire HOCHBAHN team can be proud of. What makes you optimistic about the future of the HOCHBAHN? Our company is in excellent shape. And: the Hamburg metropolitan region is one of the most sought-after business locations in Germany. It has a high quality of life and above-average growth. This means that people’s need for mobility is going to increase even more in future and that will need a high-performance public transport system with the HOCHBAHN as a driver. 12

Annual Report 2015 Mr Falk, Mr Elste is handing over a well-ordered firm to you. What are your plans for the HOCHBAHN? Günter Elste will be a tough act to follow. He made our company a top player in the sector. For me, this means that we are starting in the pole position. We will drive forward our principal projects such as the extension of the U-Bahn, zeroemission bus services and the interlocking of public transport with other mobility options – switchh is one example. We will continue to make an important contribution with these to making Hamburg a more attractive location. Our priority goal is to gain more passengers. It is not a foregone conclusion that more and more people will use public transport. To achieve that, we need to gear our activities at HOCHBAHN systematically to the needs of our customers. That means intensively finding out what they want and expect from us and structuring the products we offer on that Henrik Falk basis. I am thinking here in particular of the under-eighteen segment. How can we win them over to our products to the point that they use the bus and train as their preferred means of transport even if they have a driving licence? That means, remain loyal to us and not bother to buy a car of their own. Why is digitalisation so important for the HOCHBAHN? The digitalisation of society and work is an enormous opportunity for our company. But it needs to be grasped quickly and with determination. We must have our finger on the pulse, keep pace with the times and get closer to the digital lifestyle of Hamburg. This is an area where our company can play a large part in shaping the future of the city of Hamburg in general. That includes, for instance, offering free WIFI over our systems, creating value-added with apps and simple, easy-to-use solutions for customers to buy tickets via mobile phone. And we will push forward digitalisation inside the company, too. It presents us with a whole range of new options to make our internal processes more efficient. At the same time digital data help the HOCHBAHN to match our day-today activities more closely to customer needs. I find it really exciting to press ahead with these themes. What are the major challenges in the current business year and beyond? We have a lot on our plate in 2016: this ranges from the work on the extension of the U4 to Elbbrücken station, the barrier-free conversion of further U-Bahn stations, the extensive construction work on the new bus depot at Gleisdreieck up to working out the detailed planning for the new U5 and the extension of the U4 to Horner Geest – to mention only a few of our projects. And we are sending a digital signal with the test phase and introduction of free WIFI access in our buses and at our stations. We will implement our vision HOCHBAHN 2030 step by step: developing intelligent mobility to guarantee the customers of local public transport a reliable, high-quality and above all high-performance service. I am absolutely certain that intelligent digital solutions will have a major part to play in that. 13

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