Metro in Vienna or U-Bahn (Untergrundbahn in English: underground railway) is the lifeline of the city. You cannot imagine the life in Vienna without this system. It is not the biggest in the world, it is also not the most beautiful one, but it is one of the best functioning systems in the world, clean, punctual, and reliable. There are five lines numbered from 1 to 6 with the prefix “U”. Number 5 is missing, because it is reserved for the metro line U5, which construction will start later in 2018 and entry into service of the first driverless metro is planned for 2024.
The network is 83km long and beside metro there is 220 kilometre long tramway network and bus lines in the total length of almost 850 kilometres. In 2017, public transportation vehicles covered more than 77 million kilometres or 210.000 kilometres per day. In other words, the Viennese drive five times a day around the globe on public transportation. Yearly almost 1 billion people use the metro, buses and trams. For 1,8 million people city it is spectacular.
In Vienna more people use public transportation, around 38% of all passenger trips, than cars (27% share). Three years ago a number of holders of an annual passes exceeded the number of registered vehicles. Since then it has been steadily rising and it reached almost 800.000 last year. This is not without reasons. City government use all measures at their disposal to motivate citizens to change to public transportation and not to use cars. Not only that the price of the annual passes is one of the cheapest in Western Europe, every year system is upgraded and hundreds of millions of euros has been invested to make it even better. At the same time using car is very annoying, it is not just the traffic jams and absence of parking lots, but it is very expensive to park in the city and you are restricted to maximum of two hours of parking.
Although the history of the city rapid transit dates back to 1989, when Stadtbahn (English Vienna Metropolitan Railway) was opened, the metro as we know it today exists since 1976. Line U4 and U6 overtook sections of the old Stadtbahn and its stations. The stations of the Stadtbahn are the best example of early Art Nouveau architecture, elegant and beautiful. However, only eight stations have still been preserved in original condition. All other buildings were destroyed in the war or had to give way to the metro. They were all designed by the famous Art Nouveau architect Otto Wagner.
In Vienna there is one strict rule “keep right on escalator”. Left side is reserved for people who are in a hurry. If you want to avoid evil eyes stay on the right side. The other important rule is to give up your seat for elderly people, women with babies or anyone else who looked a bit wobbly. All the other rules are just usual for every public transportation system don’t smoke, litter, listen to loud music, or eat. Viennese are proud of the cleanliness of its public transportation, so respect it.
Although there are no barriers when entering metro, you better buy ticket, because fine is 105€.
Ticketing If you are tourist in Vienna the best way is to buy weekly or short-term (24h, 48h or 72h) ticket. They are valid for the period designated on the ticket for unlimited travel by tram, bus and rail inside Vienna’s core zone. You can buy ticket at the kiosks or the ticket machine; there are around 1000 of them. There is also possibility to buy ticket
Now you have basic information, if you come to Vienna use public transportation. It makes sense.
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