The equivalent to just over a quarter of Vienna’s citizens have bought an annual ticket for travel on the city’s public transport system. I wonder how that compares to other major cities around the world?
I’ve just been reading a report in the Austrian Times that since May 2012 there are over 70,000 new pass holders, bringing the total up to a record breaking 450,000 people with an annual travel pass (myself included). The increase is linked to the decision of the red/green coalition, which runs Vienna State government, to reduce the ticket price from 449 Euro to 365 Euro. They also reduced the cost of a monthly ticket from 49.50 to 45 Euro, while increasing the weekly and day ticket prices. Additionally fines for fare dodgers were increased from 70 to 100 Euro’s and if it’s not my imagination the number of ticket checks have gone up.
As only 5% of all passengers prior to the changes opted for day tickets it is likely that the increase in annual passes brought will be reflected in the overall numbers using the system.
I’ve read various claims that Vienna’s fares are amongst the lowest in Europe with the average cost being in the region of 660 Euro.
The increasing numbers would appear to be a political win for the City’s red/green coalition. Particularly the Greens as the policy is seen as a direct consequence of their involvement in the State Government. More widely, any shift away from car usage (if this is indeed a consequence of this policy) in the city would be a welcome aid to efforts to tackle air quality and parking problems. Both issues that detract from a otherwise high quality of life that regularly puts Vienna in the top three ‘cities in the world to live’.
The City’s integrated transport system is view as one of the best in the world. The State Government is investing 475 million Euros this year, with total investment in transport infrastructure planned to reach 2.4 billion Euros by 2015.