Title

VERKEHRSVERBUND: THE SUCCESS OF REGIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN GERMANY, AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1995

Subject Area

mode - mass transit, organisation - management, place - europe

Keywords

Transit, Ridership, Public transit, Patronage (Transit ridership), Mass transit, Management, Local transit, Europe

Abstract

The Verkehrsverbund system of public transport organization offers a practical solution to the problem of providing integrated regional public transport service for the increasingly suburbanized metropolitan areas of Europe and North America. By carefully coordinating fares and services for all routes, all types of public transport, and all parts of the metropolitan region, Verkehrsverbund systems in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have greatly improved the quality of the public transport alternative to the automobile. Five Verbund systems were chosen for detailed analysis: Hamburg, Munich, the Rhein-Ruhr region, Vienna and Zurich. This article documents the success of each Verbund in attracting more public transport riders and, in most cases, increasing or at least stabilizing public transport's share of modal split. It also analyzes the reasons for the success of the Verkehrsverbund, including service expansion, improvement in service quality, more attractive fares, and extensive marketing campaigns. The five case study systems offer lessons for other public transport systems facing similar challenges of dealing with increasing auto ownership and suburbanization. The article concludes with an analysis of the most challenging problem of all: public transport finance. As shown dramatically by the five case studies, the service improvements and fare structures needed for truly effective regional public transport require substantial government subsidy. Fiscal austerity at every government level is leading to subsidy cutbacks in most countries of Europe and North America. The five case study systems examined in this article provide lessons on how to deal most effectively with limited subsidy funds in order to minimize service deterioration, fare increases and ridership losses.

Rights

Permission to publish abstract given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.

Comments

Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X