Underground railway and tram: the power duo
Quality of the public transport service in Vienna
"I'll take the tram," is something you hear more and more in Vienna. The trams, nicknamed "Bim", are making a comeback and have recently experienced the strongest growth in passenger numbers of all public means of transport available in the city. Trams are convenient and a perfect complement to the underground system. They make newly developed neighbourhoods accessible and are a familiar sight in Vienna's urban landscape. If the underground lines provide the backbone of mass transit, the trams and buses are the muscles and nerves of this organism called "the public transport system".
The 2003 Transport Master Plan defines the extension and further development of local public passenger transport as a key priority of transport and traffic policy. Transport policy focuses on extending not only the underground network, but also the tram and bus lines.
The public transport system of the City of Vienna comprises underground rail, tram and bus lines. Extensions of the underground railway system are currently under construction, and by 2010, the underground system has grown to a total length of some 75 kilometres of "U-Bahn", linking approximately 100 stations. Further development is a priority in areas with high potential for urban growth and on those lines where an extension would further improve the modal split.
Trams, too, have grown in importance over the last three years, as they - in combination with the underground network - contribute to the increasing number of journeys being made by public transport. Trams are particularly valuable in those city areas that are not served by underground railway or local commuter trains. The tram system is regarded as a high-performance transport mode that holds great potential for the further extension and optimisation of the public transport system.
In addition to network extension, public passenger transport policy also aims at improving convenience and usability for passengers. Bus lanes and tram tracks that are separated from the flow of traffic as well as appropriate traffic light controls ensure that buses and trams have right of way and do not get held up in congested streets. The IT-supported operations control system helps to increase travelling speed and ensures adequate frequency of service during rush hours.
Other significant quality improvements are: barrier-free construction (lifts in the stations, tactile orientation systems, gender-sensitive design of access passages and similar features), attractive design of stations and stops (lighting, weather protection, seats) and state-of-the art rolling stock (ultra low floor trams and buses).
While new routes are planned and project variants for extensions selected by Municipal Department 18 (Urban Development and Planning), the public transport network is designed, built, operated and maintained by Wiener Linien, the Vienna Public Transport Authority. A data base and computer-assisted modelling are used in network planning processes. Computer modelling allows forecasts to be made about the impact of public transport on the city, which are in integrated into overall traffic and transport policy plans.
Facts & Figures
- The total length of Vienna's network of underground lines is 74.5 km at present:
U1: 14.6 km
U2: 12.5 km (a 3 km extension is currently under construction)
U3: 13.5 km
U4: 16.4 km
U6: 17.5 km
- By 2013, two new tangential tram lines (lines number 25 and 26) will connect two underground lines and provide access to a newly developed neighbourhood (Aspern Seestadt).
- Number of trips made by public transport in Vienna in 2010: 838.7 million.
- Entrance level of ULF (ultra low floor) trams: 19 cm
DI Rainer Müller
Tel. +43 1 4000 84267
Fax +43 1 4000 7997