Vienna night underground service to begin on 4 September

The new all-night underground service on Fridays and Saturdays will begin on Saturday, 4 September, it was announced today (Thurs).Vienna Social Democratic (SPÖ) Deputy Mayor Renate Brauner and Günter Steinbauer, the manager of city public transport agency Wiener Linien, said trains would be spaced at 15 minute intervals during night time service.He said the new service would cost five million Euros annually, with electricity costing 1.5 million, infrastructure 3.2 million and miscellaneous things the rest.Agency employees would ride trains during night service to help keep order and answer the public’s questions, he noted, adding that the agency was coordinating security measures with the police.Brauner said that other European cities that offered night transport services like Hamburg and Stockholm had raised their prices but Vienna would not.Vienna’s taxis, restaurants and tourist board have welcomed the new night service.Vienna Tourism Office chief Norbert Kettner said earlier this week: “That is a real gift for us.” He explained that the all-night service would give the city the character of a metropolis and enhance its image as a dynamic city.Heinrich Frey from the Vienna Economic Chamber (WKW) said an all-night underground service would not pose any threat to taxi drivers. “When more people are moving around, it is always better for the taxi business,” he noted, adding that night buses had resulted in more business for taxi drivers.Josef Bitzinger from WKW added that night spots open after midnight would also benefit from the new service. The question of whether to take the last underground would no longer be asked on weekends, he said.City Hall announced last month that 53.98 per cent of city residents who had voted in a city referendum from 11 to 13 February had endorsed a night time underground service at weekends.