Friday, March 28, 2014
Since 1st April 1989, the Münchner U-Bahnwache has been providing security and other services for the underground network of the Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG). About 140 employees work 24/7, 365 days a year. When employees started to provide their underground services 25 years ago, the Bavarian capital took on a leading role in local passenger transport by founding the Münchner U-Bahn- Bewachungsgesellschaft mbH (MUG). Over the years, the presence of the security guards created and maintained great confidence amongst Munich residents in the high level of security of the underground. The decreasing number of criminal offenses at a steadily increasing number of passengers reflects the success of the Münchner U-Bahnwache.
Security and customer service
Employees of the U-Bahnwache come from 17 different countries, and have a wide and diversified range of tasks: They help in emergencies, intervene in disputes, ensure that everything runs smoothly at big events like football matches or the Oktoberfest and check tickets. Furthermore, a good service is a top priority: Staff of the U-Bahnwache provides information, helps mobility-impaired passengers or repairs broken escalators. The response is positive: Regular passenger surveys show that more than 95 percent of the MVG customers, for whom security is a major concern, feel safe from harassment on trains and at stations of the MVG.
Excellent reputation far beyond Munich
"Our U-Bahnwache differs from many other security services: It enjoys an excellent reputation – far beyond our industry – because employees have been doing a great job for 25 years now," says the Head of MVG Herbert König. "Their presence in the underground network enhances both, the passengers' sense of safety as well as the actual security. It is not without a reason that the Munich underground is considered to be one of the safest transport systems." Also Securitas - the security partner responsible for operations - regards the U-Bahnwache as a success story. "It is the best example for a successful cooperation between public and private services," says Manfred Buhl, Head of Securitas in Germany.
U-Bahnwache as partner of the police
The cooperation of the U-Bahnwache with the police and other security authorities runs smoothly. "For 25 years now, the U-Bahnwache has been an important and extremely reliable partner for us," says the Chief of the Munich Police Hubertus Andrä. "It supports the police work in an outstanding way and is available to us as a professional contact at any time. Mutual information and communication work really well. Together – day in, day out – we ensure that Munich remains one of the safest megacities in Europe."
Good training, good pay
The selection of suitable employees and good training involving the police are of great importance to the U-Bahnwache. SWM/MVG participates in the selection and training process and thus contributes to the high level of quality. Staff wages are above average. The U-Bahnwache is still looking to further strengthen the team. A new training course will start in July.
The U-Bahnwache is supported by the SWM with its transport subsidiary MVG and Securitas. The latter is also responsible for the operational management of the U-Bahnwache and acts as the manager of the employees.