I recently wrote a piece about my positive experience of Vienna’s trams, buses and trains. I also raised some questions about the network. It seems, from the article I’ve just read in the Vienna Times, that not all the residents of the city have such a positive experience of the system with complaints on the increase.
Some interesting facts and figures from the article include:
- “Our buses, trams and U-Bahn trains are so busy that each day they cover a distance equivalent to going four and a half times around the world. In a rush hour we operate 900 vehicles simultaneously – it’s clear that problems can occur,” Dominik Gries told Die Presse newspaper today (Tues).
- Nearly 300 of the 500 trams in service in the city are of the old generation. (The majority of the trams on the service I use are the new model – they always make me think of snakes as they glide down the road).
- Wiener Linien (the agency that runs the network) earns around 420 million Euros a year with ticket sales, while the city of Vienna supports the firm with almost 715 million Euros at the same time.
- The recently introduced 24-hour U-Bahn service at the weekends and the extension of the U2 line has resulted in a growth in passenger numbers. (The U2 was in part built to take Euro Championship football fans from the city centre to the national stadium. It has also created a modern viaduct across a large part of the 22nd District which provides swift movement and some interesting views. I’m not sure however that I would want to live in one of the houses over which the train takes me each day).
Given my own positive impression in comparison to England (which is clearly influenced by the fact that I appear to primarily use the most modern parts of the network), I found this comment from ‘an independent expert’ quoted in the article interesting – “I don’t think there are more failures in public transport service in any other city in German-speaking Europe.”
The above quote seems to be a good excuse for me to do some more travelling around German speaking Europe, purely in the name of research. If you can suggest any source for a grant to pay for the alcohol, I mean study, please drop me a line.
I also noted that the article referred to Vienna as having one of the lowest average fees for permanent parking in Europe and a comparably high number of parking spots.