Austria - Articles and news items

Vienna: Juggling much-needed renovation with no service interruption

Issue 5 2015  •  2 November 2015  •  Günter Steinbauer, Chief Executive Officer of Wiener Linien

Vienna’s longest underground line, the U6, currently runs for over 17km from the north to the south of the city. A trip from Siebenhirten on the southernmost edge of the city to Floridsdorf in the north takes over 30 minutes. The line celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014 but the origins of this line date back to the imperial era and the construction of the urban railway at the end of the 19th Century. A series of historical stations designed by the renowned architect and urban planner Otto Wagner also stem from this period. As Günter Steinbauer, Chief Executive Officer of Wiener Linien explains, the network operator has for years been working on the revitalisation of these listed buildings in a project which has involved several major challenges…

Driverless U-Bahn trains proposed for Vienna

Industry news  •  8 June 2015  •  Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Viennese transport operator Wiener Linien has revealed plans to introduce driverless U-Bahn trains on Line U5.

Wiener Linien places order for 119 Bombardier FLEXITY trams

Industry news  •  4 June 2015  •  Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Vienna Transport Authority Wiener Linien has signed a contract with Bombardier for the supply of 119 FLEXITY trams and the maintenance of up to 156 vehicles.

Bridging boundaries – ITS Austria and the Austrian activities on cross-border cooperation

Issue 5 2014  •  24 October 2014  •  Martin Russ – General Secretary of ITS Austria

New and innovative mobility solutions enabled by intelligent transport systems (ITS) need foresightful political commitment. The national ITS Austria Platform is all set for strengthening the position of Austria as a key player in ITS development and deployment. To further develop the strong network and exchange between the ministry and the national industry is a main goal of the national platform. All activities of ITS Austria are based on the four priorities for the use of intelligent transport systems: to increase road safety; to improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure; to enhance the overall quality of the traffic network; and to reduce the environmental impact. Mobility must include open data, open services and open platforms. This kind of mobility as-a-service must be in-line with other European priorities and activities, for example like what the ITS Europe Congress 2014 in Helsinki showed. Martin Russ – General Secretary of ITS Austria, explains further…

Expanding public transport in Graz

Issue 5 2013  •  11 November 2013  •  Barbara Muhr, Managing Director, Holding Graz Linien

Graz Linien is the biggest public mobility provider in southern Austria, responsible for two thirds of total public transport association (Verkehrsverbund) services in Styria. With more than 900 employees and a fleet of 86 trams and 148 buses, Graz Linien runs a total of eight tram lines, 28 bus and eight night bus lines on a network of 415km. This amounts to an equivalent of 280,000 passengers a day travelling with Graz Linien. In the 2012 business year, more than 102 million passengers used Graz Linien – around 1% more than in 2011. The main focus is on good service quality guaranteed by regular staff training and strict recruiting standards, but also thanks to perfect teamwork with workshop staff.
The main railway station – a central hub of local public transport

The new local public transport hub at Graz main railway station provides a powerful interface between local public transport and national and international connections. Since the new tram section with the underground tram stop at ‘Hauptbahnhof’ opened on 26 November 2012, lines 1, 3, 6 and 7 now stop at Graz main railway station.

Ultra-modern mobility in the Alps

Issue 5 2013  •  11 November 2013  •  Martin Baltes, Chief Executive Officer, Innsbruck Transportation Authority and Harald Muhrer, Director of Infrastructure, Innsbruck Transportation Authority

Innsbruck’s transportation authority – Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe und Stubaitalbahn GmbH (IVB) – is hard at work on the biggest project it has tackled to date: the tram/regional train system which is set to heighten public transportation capacity and provide better connections to towns in the outlying areas of the city of Innsbruck.

The state capital of Innsbruck lies in the heart of the Alps in Tyrol’s Inn Valley, through which runs one of Europe’s major traffic routes. In addition to the enormous north-south traffic, there is also quite heavy east-west traffic.

According to recent statistics, approximately 38,000 people commute into the city each day, with around 11,000 people commuting outwards to surrounding areas. In addition, Innsbruck is visited by immense numbers of tourists due to its vicinity to nearby alpine regions and the town’s unique city flair in both summer and winter.

South East Europe Rail & Public Transport Development 2013

Events, Past events  •  5 December 2012  •  

5 June 2013, Belgrade

2012: ‘year of the tram’ in Vienna

Issue 5 2012  •  31 October 2012  •  Günter Steinbauer, CEO, Wiener Linien

Public transport in Vienna is highly popular and is well known on an international level. However, the fact that Vienna has declared 2012 as the ‘year of the tram’ is a real rarity. While the popularity of trams seems to be fading in many countries around the world, Wiener Linien has made a clear commitment to its trams, together with the City of Vienna, and is expanding their use.

For more than 150 years, trams have been a fixed part of Vienna’s image, just like the famous Fiaker carriages belong to Vienna’s city centre. Vienna’s trams began life with a horse-drawn tram line in 1865. The Vienna Tramway Company was founded in 1872, from which time the New Vienna Tramway Company also became a direct competitor. Just a few years later in 1883, the first steam-powered tramway was travelling around Vienna. In 1897, a new era was ushered in when the first tram line powered by electricity was opened. Then, just two years later in 1899, the City of Vienna assumed control of the licence for building and running the ‘Electrics’, as trams were affectionately known in Vienna at that time. Work to expand the network of tram lines in the Austrian capital reached its peak during the interwar years.

Wiener Linien’s metro station ‘Stadium’ Meeting challenges of big events

Issue 6 2011  •  3 January 2012  •  Thomas Kritzer, Deputy Head of Metro Operations, Wiener Linien, Chairman of the UITP Security Commission and Eurotransport Editorial Board Member

Big events in urban areas involving lots of customers are a regular challenge for public transport operators. Wiener Linien has decades of experience in successfully managing big events and lots of customers.

Shortly before Euro 2008, the European football cup held in Austria and Switzerland, Wiener Linien opened a new station on the metro line U2 close to the Viennese football stadium, only about 200m away. Different to other public transport operators, Wiener Linien could build a new station right from the planning phase. The challenge was to give a great number of the approximate 50,000 spectators a high quality public transport travel opportunity, very close to the stadium. Transport before the event is challenging, but easier, as people reach the site over a longer period of time. However, at the end of an event, no matter if it is a football match or a rock concert, a huge number of people want to use public transport – immediately and all at the same time.

It was clear that a normal station ‘setting’ would not meet the requirements of such an event. Wiener Linien, together with architects and supported by the Österreichisches Institut für Schul- und Sportstättenplanung (Austrian Institute for planning of school and sport venues), developed a station building to be used as a ‘normal’ metro station, but also as a station fitting for big events.

Bombardier and Vienna Transport Authority make metro line U6 fit for the future

Industry news  •  19 December 2011  •  Bombardier Transportation

Five new trainsets ensure greater comfort on Vienna’s longest metro line…

Austria is ready to embrace mobility increases

Issue 5 2011  •  31 October 2011  •  Doris Bures, Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Austria

Mobility is a basic need in our society; it is essential for the development of the economy, business location and our entire society. Mobility needs are increasing drastically, as is illustrated by all traffic forecasts. Our challenge: how can we shape the rapidly growing volume of traffic, both in freight as well as passenger transport, to ensure it is sustainable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable?

My strategy is clear: I am focusing on developing rail, I want to ensure the growth in freight transport is handled using environmentallyfriendly rail transport and I am pushing the research and implementation of intelligent traffic systems and alternative drive models. We have paved the way for Austria in this direction!

In Austria we have put together the largest rail investment package for decades. The foundations for this were traffic forecasts and a strategic development plan based on this. By 2016, we will invest €12.8 billion in rail. As a comparison, road investment lies at €6.5 billion. This clearly shows that rail has priority in terms of investment.

Wiener Linien’s social media success contributes to passenger satisfaction

Issue 5 2011  •  31 October 2011  •  Günter Steinbauer, CEO, Wiener Linien

The Viennese love their public transport. Thirty-six percent of all trips within Austria’s capital are made by subway, tram and bus. This makes Vienna an international leader in the field of public transport – and that is certainly quite something.

Alongside having good infrastructure and modern vehicles, there is no doubt that customer focus is the most important factor for this popularity. This is also illustrated in the current customer satisfaction studies of Wiener Linien: no less than 95% of the 900 respondents surveyed evaluated the service of Wiener Linien as good – a plus of 2% compared with the previous year.

However, Wiener Linien is not resting on its laurels; not only is it trying to maintain high customer satisfaction but also to boost it even further through different means.

The launch of its social media presence in March 2011 constituted another step towards greater customer orientation and customer satisfaction, making Wiener Linien a pioneer amongst European local public transport providers.

2011 – A year rich in changes at TPG

Issue 5 2011  •  31 October 2011  •  Roland Bonzon, CEO, TPG

As previously announced in Eurotransport Issue 5 2010, after several years of feasibility studies, preparation and finally construction, travellers in Geneva will be able to benefit from tram line 14 and its new 6.5km extension to Bernex. At the same time, a major re-organisation of the tram and bus network and a new information system for travellers is being introduced. In an interview for Eurotransport, Roland Bonzon, CEO of TPG, explains what changes will come into force for passengers, the impact on the bus and trolleybus network and investments in new vehicles.
Why are you changing the way the tram network is operated?

The current system has reached its limits. In order to respond to the growing needs of our customers, we have to change the way we operate. The new tram network will be much simpler – instead of the seven interconnected tram lines currently operating, the new system will have just three independent lines. With additional trams due for delivery in 2012, we will be able to adapt the service frequency in response to passenger demand. Along with the extension of the network, we expect a significant increase in the number of passengers.

In addition, the new system will lead to a more reliable service. An accident or breakdown on one part of the network will no longer have a knock-on effect on other parts – which is the case today.

Growth through innovation – Lausanne’s new driverless metro

Issue 5 2011  •  31 October 2011  •  Marc Badoux, Deputy Director, tl (Transports publics de la région lausannoise)

Lausanne’s new driverless metro line – named m2 – began commercial service in October 2008. The new line has boosted the ridership of the city’s public transportation network which has increased by almost 30% since commercial service started. Costing approximately £600 million, this remarkable ‘micrometro’ has 14 passenger-friendly stations and its steep and curvy gradient strongly influenced the decision on components such as rolling stock design and station requirements.

A small public transportation company ready to innovate tl is the public transportation company of the Lausanne region along the shores of the Lake of Geneva in Western Switzerland. tl’s 1’000+ employees run a mixed metro, light-rail and bus network. During its long history, tl has been open to innovation at different stages of its development, for example:

Vienna’s underground network continues to expand

Issue 5 2010  •  29 October 2010  •  Günter Steinbauer, CEO, and Answer Lang, Head of Communications, Wiener Linien

Wiener Linien is Vienna’s leading transportation company. Approximately 2.2 million passengers travel the length and breadth of Austria’s capital with Wiener Linien’s 83 bus, 38 tram and five underground routes every day – this adds up to 812 million people annually. Passenger numbers have been rising for years, with the result that, in Vienna, more journeys are now completed by public transportation than by any other option, including car journeys and pedestrian routes.