Two women are riding in a tram on Vienna's Ringstrasse boulevard
© WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud

Staying safe inVienna

A subway train every five minutes, from St. Stephen's Cathedral to Danube Island in six minutes, a dense network of bus routes through the metropolitan area: the Viennese and their guests love public transport. The subway trains, trams, and buses of Wiener Linien (urban transport companies) are reliable, punctual and safe. They connect the city center with the periphery and make Vienna a city of short distances.

Vienna's public transport services functioned perfectly during the COVID-19 crisis, too: since the lifting of the lockdown restrictions, subway trains, buses and trams have been operating again at the shortest possible intervals. In all vehicles, where technically feasible, the doors open centrally, which enables a reduction in common touchpoints among passengers. All stations, vehicles and surfaces that passengers come into contact with are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected daily. A face mask must currently be worn in all vehicles and in subway stations; this excludes children under 6 years of age and people who are unable to wear a face mask for health reasons.

Public transport before cars

The popularity of public transport among Vienna's resident population can clearly be seen by the number of season ticket holders: in 2019, this reached a record of 852,000 people, an increase of 30,000 over the previous year. As a result, more people in Vienna have a public transport season ticket than their own car for the fourth time in a row. The low annual price of €365 introduced in 2012 also contributed to this positive development in a big way, and is reflected in the modal split, i.e. the choice of public transport. Vienna has outstanding results in this area: 38% of all journeys in Vienna are made with public transport, only 29% by car, which is a top figure compared to other cities around the world. The Viennese complete 26% of their journeys on foot, the rest (7%) by bike.

Flexible mobility

To make the change from car to public transport even more agreeable, the City of Vienna has developed a concept for flexible mobility. The choice of public transport is, of course, often about the "first and last mile", i.e. the journey from the subway station to one's own home. The WienMobil stations are intended to provide assistance with this: they are located at busy mobility points and connect public transport with environmentally friendly sharing offers like Citybikes, carsharing cars, and e-mopeds. Bike parking spaces, parking bays for e-scooters, and charging posts for e-cars are also available at the existing three WienMobil stations, and there are plans to set up a whole network of these across the city. WienMobil is also the name of the mobility app of Wiener Linien, which bundles the offers of different mobility providers in a single app and offers a convenient way to book them – no matter whether you want to buy a subway ticket, reserve a carsharing car, or order a taxi.

2.6 million passengers daily

Sustainability and climate protection are big topics in Vienna. Wiener Linien makes an important contribution to this: electric buses operating in the city center, trams and subway trains are used as "mini-power plants". The energy produced during braking is fed into the company's own electricity grid and can, for example, be used to supply the escalators and elevators in the stations. Under the motto Greener Linien (Greener Lines), the Spittelau subway station is currently planted vertically with bushes, shrubs, and herbs; on the large forecourt, too, asphalt gives way to shady trees, photovoltaic modules that provide shade by day and lighting by night, as well as cozy seating furniture.

Wiener Linien is building and operating the biggest transport network in Austria with its 8,600 employees: 83 kilometers of subway, 220 kilometers of tramway (the sixth largest tram network in the world), and bus lines with a total length of almost 850 kilometers. For the 2.6 million passengers daily, some 450 buses, around 500 trams, and more than 150 subway trains are in operation.

www.wienerlinien.at

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