Expanding Hamburg’s U-Bahn network – thinking of the future

25 February 2016  •  Author(s): Henrik Falk, CEO of Hamburger Hochbahn AG

Hamburg is a growing city; its population is expected to increase by 100,000 by 2025, and with it, people will demand a lot from the city’s public transport offering. For Eurotransport, Henrik Falk, CEO of Hamburger Hochbahn AG – the organisation responsible for operating the metro system and most buses in Hamburg – explains that many steps have already been taken to make the public transport fit for the future, but expanding the U-Bahn network really will make a positive long-term difference.

Expanding Hamburg’s U-Bahn network – thinking of the future

Hamburg is the logistics centre and main transport hub of the north German metropolitan region. A thriving economy depends on people taking full advantage of mobility. The backbone of mobility for the, just under, 1.8 million people who live here, plus something like 400,000 commuters, is the public transport network with its buses and rail services (regional trains, metro system and commuter railway system). Passenger numbers travelling on public transport have been continually on the rise ever since 2006. On average, the increase has been 2% a year over the past 10 years.

The forecasts for Hamburg all point in the same direction: Hamburg is a growing city. The outlook for Hamburg’s businesses is promising, and the number of jobs will continue to rise. The city is an attractive location to do business and to live. Experts predict a growing population: by 2025 it is set to go up by some 100,000 people. But an increase in commuter streams is also on the cards. All of this points to a continuing rising curve in passenger numbers.

A whole range of steps have already been taken over recent years to make public transport fit for the future. These include, among others, the optimisation and modernisation of the existing bus system on heavily used MetroBus lines (the bus rapid transit system) as well as the projects to extend the S-Bahn network (the S4 as far as Bad Oldesloe and the electrification of the S21 on the AKN route to Kaltenkirchen). And last but certainly not least, the conversion of the rapid transit stations for barrier-free access is being speeded up and the public transport system is being integrated into a network with various complementary mobility services such as bike hire and car sharing.

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