Berlin transport operator to stop calling fare-dodgers "blackriders"


  • World
  • Saturday, 10 Jul 2021

FILE PHOTO: The empty platform of an U-Bahn underground train at Alexanderplatz station is pictured during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Berlin, Germany, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin public transport operator BVG will stop using the German term "schwarzfahren" (or "blackriding") to describe travelling without a valid ticket, it said on Friday.

The decision to discontinue using the expression, which is common in colloquial speech, implements a recommendation from the Berlin Senate's diversity programme, a spokesperson told broadcaster rbb.

The operator had only used it once in print, in a poster campaign, and would in future refer to the practice as "travelling without a ticket," the spokesperson added.

The move reflects growing awareness in many countries at residual racism embedded in everyday phrases or practices that often have their roots in the days of Europe's vast colonial empires.

The 2016 BVG poster featured two drag queens riding the Berlin metro and the warning: "You need balls to travel black."

BVG is famous for irreverent advertising campaigns that often contain self-mocking references to its own inability to keep its metro trains, trams and buses on schedule as well as digs at Berlin stereotypes.

ISD, a Black rights activist group, welcomed the move, saying the term was offensive to Black people, rbb reported.

On Thursday, Munich transport company MVG told Bild newspaper it was removing the term from its posters.

Last year, amid a worldwide reckoning with buried legacies of racism sparked by the death in the United States of George Floyd, BVG said it would rename the city centre metro station currently called Mohrenstrasse, or "Moor Street".

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Thomas Escritt and John Stonestreet)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

U.S. stocks end mixed after key jobs report
Oil prices fall as traders eye OPEC+ meeting
U.S.-listed Chinese firms trade higher
New COVID-19 subvariants account for over 60 pct new cases in U.S.
U.S. says it remains ready to meet with Russia over nuclear treaty talks
COVID-19 lessons urgently needed for other health threats: institutes
U.S. agricultural futures close mixed
Cameroon stun Brazil but exit World Cup (updated-2)
Venezuela's Maduro could miss Lula inauguration
Switzerland, S. Korea through to last 16 on another day of World Cup drama

Others Also Read