Wiener Linien has explained how it plans to compensate the partial shutdown of one of the city’s busiest underground lines.
The company – which is in charge of public transport in Vienna – said there was no alternative to closing down the U1 line service between the stations of Reumannplatz in Vienna-Favoriten district and Stephansplatz station in Innere Stadt district for around two months from 7 July. This part of the underground train line is 35 years old, according to the public transport agency. Its infrastructure will undergo extensive restoration and maintenance proceedings, Wiener Linien officials explained.
Wiener Linien said yesterday (Weds) that two tram lines (66, 68) would operate near the usual route of the U1 this summer to get the thousands of commuters into the city centre who were using the U-Bahn for the city centre each day. The company also announced that the intervals of two other tramway services (6, 14) would be shortened to avoid a traffic chaos in Favoriten district and neighbouring areas.
Only last week, Viennese Social Democratic (SPÖ) Finance Councillor Renate Brauner disclosed that 600 million Euros would be invested on an extension of the U1 line. She said that the city and the Republic of Austria would share the costs of the project, which will, according to Brauner, create thousands of jobs.
Greens Vice Mayor Maria Vassilakou said her party agreed with its city hall coalition partner, the Viennese SPÖ, about extending the U1 underground to Therme Wien, a spa situated on the city’s southern outskirts. The construction, which will be finalised in 2017, will make the U1 into the city’s longest underground train service. The U1 line connects the area of Leopoldau in north-eastern Vienna with Reumann Square (Reumannplatz).
Vassilakou said the plan was to set up some park & ride facilities around Therme Wien to keep the level of motorised traffic low in the area. She promised that drivers interested in using public transport in Vienna would find excellent opportunities to do so thanks to the upcoming extension and other public transport infrastructure measures. The measure means that a trip with the U-Bahn from Therme Wien in Favoriten district to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the heart of the federal capital will take 20 minutes.
The first Viennese U-Bahn started in 1976. Wiener Linien has 2.2 million daily passengers today. Some tickets for the firm’s services will cost more from May. The price for a single ticket is set to climb by 20 Eurocents to two Euros while weekly passes will cost 15 instead of 14 Euros. The price of eight-day rider ticket passes is set to soar by five Euros to 33.80 Euros. However, some tickets will become more affordable at the same time. SPÖ and Greens hope for positive impulses by the strong reduction of the price of the Wiener Linien annual ticket which costs 449 Euros at the moment (365 Euros from May).