The role of public transport in achieving Vienna’s future urban development goals

24 October 2014  •  Author(s): Günter Steinbauer – CEO of Wiener Linien

Wiener Linien will play an important role in Vienna's urban development

Vienna – the Austrian capital – is rapidly growing and, for many years in a row, has been rated as the city with the highest quality of life in the world. Vienna’s population has grown used to this headline in recent years. At the beginning of 2014, Vienna had a population of exactly 1,765,649, an increase of 24,000 from the previous year. The city has seen its population grow by approximately 200,000 inhabitants since 2000. Statistics Austria1 expects that Vienna will be home to over two million people by 2029 – however, this presents significant challengers for the city’s administration, particularly in the field of transport, writes Günter Steinbauer – CEO of Wiener Linien – the city’s provider of transport services.

The role of Wiener Linien here is of considerable importance given that, as things stand today, 39% of all journeys in the city are made on public transport – making it the first choice for inner city mobility.

Public transport in Vienna is a success story and the Viennese value their public transport services. It is therefore no surprise that the one billion passenger barrier will be broken in the next few years. The roots of this success can be found in the ongoing work to expand the infrastructure in line with urban development, together with transport policies such as lowering the price of an annual season ticket to €365.00. However, it is not just fair ticket prices that make Vienna’s public transport system so attractive. Another factor behind the rise in the number of people using public transport is the growth of the population of the surrounding areas, which has being increasing at a faster rate than previously thought. This has led to a greater flow of commuters, creating a need for high-quality public transport to the city and around the city itself, including trains, underground lines, trams and buses. The expansion of the rail network, including projects such as the new west bound line, ‘Neue Westbahn’, coupled with the fact that capacity levels have been reached for private motorised transport (as result of high fuel prices and the enlargement of the area subject to parking space manage ment), also means that more people are switching to public transport.

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