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About 600 companies performing public passenger transport and rail freight transport in Germany are organised in the “Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen” (VDV = Association of German Transport Companies). The VDV advises and supports its member companies and politicians, supports the exchange of experience and know-how between the members and prepares technical, operational, legal and economic principles.
The VDV also represents the interests of its member companies towards parliaments, authorities, industry and other institutions. Therefore, the VDV has offices in Brussels (European office) and Berlin (capital office) besides its head office in Cologne.
The regional interests of the member companies are defended by nine regional groups. Moreover, sixgeneral committees and 19 expert committees are dealing with the special challenges of the sector. More than 400 experts in very different fields do voluntary work in these committees, which results in rules (VDV Recommendations and VDV Reports).
The VDV has existed in its present form since the beginning of 1991 as the Association of Public Transport Companies (VÖV), the Federal Association of German Railways, Motorized Traffic and Funicular Railways (BDE) and the VÖV of the former German Democratic Republic merged to the VDV. The history of the VDV began with the foundation of the Association of Prussian Railways in 1846 and the foundation of the Association of German Tramway and Light Railway Administrations in 1895.