Public transport users in Vienna are infuriated as several ticket machines have failed to accept their bank cards.
Using bank cards to pay for tickets is currently impossible at an undisclosed number of machines at stations across the city, public transport agency Wiener Linien confirmed yesterday (Tues). The company explained that the error had to do with a recent update of the ticket machine’s features. Bank cards should be an option to pay for various kinds of tickets at the affected machines in around two weeks, according to Wiener Linien. The enterprise appealed on clients to be prepared to pay with cash at all ticket machines these days.
The news came on the same day as speculations that the southern extension of the U1 and U2 underground lines were at risk. Daily papers claimed that Wiener Linien considered introducing new tram lines to Vienna’s Favoritenn district instead of expanding the existing services in the coming years.
Vienna Greens Traffic Affair Councillor Maria Vassilakou refused to comment the speculations. She only pointed out that the possible extension of the U2 was a project of the next legislative period which will start in 2015 and end in 2020. Vassilakou became the city’s first Green deputy mayor last year after the Social Democrats (SPÖ) had to seek a coalition partner due to their loss of a majority in seats in the city parliament.
Vienna’s SPÖ branch – which is headed by Mayor Michael Häupl – and the city’s Green Party presented ambitious plans to increase the shares of public transport and cycling in Vienna in the coming years. The coalition promised to invest more in trams, buses, U-Bahn trains and the federal capital’s cycling network – despite the soaring debts of the city which Viennese SPÖ Financial Issues Councillor Renate Brauner tries to reduce.
Vienna’s public transport network features around 4,300 stops. More than two million people use the city’s trams, buses and underground trains each day. More and more newspapers claim to know that the annual pass will cost 365 Euros instead of 449 Euros from 2012.
Vassilakou and a team of SPÖ Vienna officials are currently debating whether Wiener Linien’s ticket price system should be reformed. Especially the Viennese Greens have stressed they want to make more frequent usage of public transport more attractive and reward those who do so. At the same time, the price for a single ticket may increase. This kind of ticket costs 1.80 Euros. Passengers could be asked to cough up 2.20 Euros as of January 2012, according to reports.
Vassilakou’s party promised to lower the price for single passes to one Euro ahead of the most recent city ballot which took place in October 2010. The left-wing faction also claimed the price for annual tickets would be reduced to 100 Euros if it joins the Viennese government for the first time in history.