More passengers and reduced costs - the optimization of the Berlin Public Transport Network

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting


The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has succeeded in increasing its revenue by more than 22 percent in three years. This was made possible by restructuring the transportation network as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Traffic simulations demonstrated that improving frequency on the main lines could shorten travel times and attract many new customers to public transportation. In addition, lines outside the core network with little utilization were identified where service could be reduced to achieve significant cost savings with only a slight decline in the number of passengers. In 2004, new premium products, the MetroBus and MetroTram, were introduced; in 2006, their services were improved yet further. Today, the MetroBus and MetroTram run on the 26 most important lines (in addition to the subway), 24 hours a day at very short intervals. They are intensively marketed, and customers can understand the Metro network almost as well as they can the subway network. The new MetroBus and MetroTram products have achieved great success, with passenger volume on some lines rising by more than 30 percent. Overall, the BVG has gained more than 21 million new trips per year and reduced its annual operating costs by more than 9.5 million euros.


Permission to publish the abstract given by the Journal of Public Transportation.