The performance of the "Deutsche Bahn" subsidiary "S-Bahn Berlin GmbH" is not the best, as every Berliner knows from personal experience. In order to maximize profits, the company operating Berlin's S-Bahn network systematically saved up the infrastructure. In 2009, a collapse occurred when several hundred cars had to be pulled from service due to acute safety deficiencies. The result was years of frequent service failures and the cancellation of entire lines.

The Berlin Senate reacted by dividing the Berlin S-Bahn into several sections and putting them out to tender for new operating companies. The capitalist credo was that competition should lead to lower prices. The fact that these cheaper prices could come about primarily through further wage depression and deterioration of working conditions, as trade unionists warn, is of course of no concern to the rulers. There is also the justified fear that, with several operating companies in the network, chaos will ensue at the interfaces and ticket prices will get even more out of hand. It would also create a costly duplicate structure in the area of maintenance.

In any case, Deutsche Bahn is doing everything it can to avoid having to share Berlin's rich S-Bahn pie. Now, at the end of the tendering process, there is only one competitor left in the race, France's Alstom, but its prospects are dwindling. This is because DB has formed a monopoly with Siemens and Stadler, combining the construction and operation of the S-Bahn in a single corporate construct. In addition, the political "steering committee," which meets in secret, has decided that the voltage of the trains will not be changed from 750 to 1500 volts. A decision that favors inefficiency and the German monopoly DB/Siemens/Stadler, because it does not have to redesign its latest S-Bahn series this way: "Experts estimate the cost advantage at half a billion euros."

So the chances are high that the bad alternative to the bad status quo will fail and everything will stay the same. So this whole political circus is coming to nothing. On the one hand, privatization chaos has been averted; on the other hand, the S-Bahn Berlin can continue to cut back on services provided, train drivers and maintenance workers in order to transfer profits to the profit-oriented parent company in state hands.