New 24-hour weekend U-Bahn costs more than €10mn

More than 10 million Euros of taxpayers’ money is being used to finance Vienna’s new 24-hour U-Bahn weekend service, it has been announced.Public transport agency Wiener Linien said today (Mon) the service – which went into operation four weeks ago – cost an overall 10.7 million Euros a year. It explained the new around the clock service on Fridays and Saturdays cost 5.1 million Euros a year, adding that costs for the reduced “Nightline” bus operation amounted to 5.6 million Euros annually.The company explained it had no plans to raise ticket prices since all costs are covered by tax revenues of the city of Vienna. A day rider ticket costs 3.60 Euros.The new 24-hour underground service on weekends was introduced following the results of a referendum held in February in which 54 per cent of the 277,00 participants spoke out in favour of it.Around 480,000 people have used the service on Friday and Saturday nights since it was introduced on 4 September, according to Wiener Linien. The firm stressed there have so far been no reports of serious criminal or violent incidents in the trains or at the stations.Two policemen are riding on all night time trains, while around 50 Wiener Linien staff patrol at the stations. All U-Bahn trains are under CCTV surveillance.Vienna taxi association chiefs, meanwhile, said they registered a 10 per cent year on year customer drop over weekends last month.Public transport makes around 35 per cent of all traffic in the city, it was announced earlier this year.