Politics, transport companies and the network company make up the VRS

The "Law on Local Public Transport in North Rhine-Westphalia" (ÖPNVG NRW) is the basis for the organisational structure of public transport in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The transport networks in NRW are organised according to a 3-level model.

The cities and districts that are members of the VRS network delegate their representatives to the VRS network's association assembly as a political board. The members of the association's assemblies are grouped in political groups, the numerical composition of which is determined by the results of the local elections. The responsibility for the association's tasks lies with the chair of the association. The association itself does not have any personnel but is the 100 percent owner of VRS GmbH, which carries out its tasks.

The association's bodies are the association assembly, which consists of representatives of the association members and the chair of the association.

  • The association assembly:
    The association assembly members are elected for their term of office from among themselves or from among their employees by the association members' representative bodies. The association assembly shall be convened in writing by its Chairperson as required, but at least twice a year. The dates and agendas of the meetings as well as the public meeting documents are made available in the VRS association's electronic meeting service.
  • The chair of the association:
    The association assembly elects the chair of the association from among the principal administrative officers or, with the consent of its superior, from among the general representatives or senior officers of the association members for a term of six years, but not exceeding the term of their office. The chair of the association conducts the association's current business in accordance with the law, the association statutes and the association assembly's resolutions. It shall represent the association in and out of court. On 14.11.2014 the district administrator of the Rhein-Sieg district, Sebastian Schuster, was elected chair of the VRS association.

Duty to provide information and disclosure pursuant to Article°16 of the German Anti-Corruption Act (KorruptionsbG)
Pursuant to Article°16)3) of the German Anti-Corruption Act, the chair of the association is obliged to provide information on the exercised profession and consultancy contracts, memberships on supervisory boards and other supervisory bodies within the meaning of paragraph°(5) of Article°125(1) of the Stock Corporation Act, membership in bodies of independent areas of responsibility in public or private law form of public authorities and institutions named in Article°1(1) and (2) of the State Organisation Act, membership in bodies of other private companies and the functions in associations or comparable bodies. The corresponding overview of the chair of the association District Administrator Sebastian Schuster's activities is available on the Rhein-Sieg district website and as a PDF file under "Downloads".

All the network's tasks and expertise are bundled in VRS GmbH in organisational terms. VRS GmbH is legally independent and works with its own personnel and equipment to fulfil a wide range of tasks relating to local public transport in the region. VRS GmbH's core tasks are

  • Network tariff: Adjusting and further developing the network tariff taking submarket and target group requirements into account (example: SchülerTicket)
  • Sales: Adapting and further developing a sales system tailored to different customer needs (example: customer-friendly electronic ticket)
  • Marketing/market research: Conducting target group and submarket-focused market research and implementing it throughout the network in suitable marketing strategies
  • Communication: Implementing cross-company advertising, sales promotion and public relations for the entire network. Creating standardised passenger information for the whole network
  • Information technology: Preparing the network timetable and further developing the electronic timetable and fare information taking current media into account (example: VRS app)
  • Distribution of revenue: Distributing ticket revenue to all transport companies applying the network tariff according to passenger volume
  • Mobility management: Supporting municipalities and transport companies in the development, promotion and marketing of intermodal services

VRS GmbH provides for the mobility of citizens through the integrated traffic organisation of public transport as well as by networking and integrating transport systems and modes of transport. VRS GmbH is closely linked to the political level through the association assembly and to the transport companies' operational level through an advisory board.

The municipal transport companies and the railway transport companies form the operational level on the basis of cooperation and revenue-sharing agreements in the VRS network.

The transport companies are involved through the VRS advisory board and bring all issues relevant to the company to the association assembly through this committee. The entrepreneurial expertise of the transport companies is therefore one of the pillars of decision-making within the transport network.

The VRS network brings together the local authorities' municipal transport companies, all other transport companies with their own concession and all railway companies with their own revenue responsibility. Topic-related work takes place together with VRS GmbH in various working groups.