The daily mobility needs of our societies require reliable public transport systems. In Germany, an average of 30 million passengers use public transport every day, and the numbers are growing. From 2004 to 2013, the total number of yearly public transport passengers increased by 9.6% – almost 1 billion – to 10.9 billion riders. This statistic is particularly impressive given the fact that Germany’s population has declined from 82.5 to 80.5 million during the same period.
Germany’s integrated networks of long-distance and regional trains, as well as trams and buses, are backbones of urban mobility. A well-established system of institutions, regulations and funding provide a reliable structure for one of the world’s best public transport systems.
An established regulation system and national, regional and local funding provides the reliable base for one of the world’s best public transport systems, serving more than 80 million inhabitants. Transport operators and specialized planning and consultancy firms carry outstanding knowhow in operations and operational planning, fleet management, ticketing, marketing and passenger information.
To ensure public transport users don’t have to wait in traffic jams, buses and trams run in segregated corridors where there is high demand and in many cities they enjoy priority at traffic signals. Bus, tram and train producers offer attractive designs for making the transit ride comfortable, and they use the latest technologies to limit energy consumption. As German authorities require public transport to meet the most up-to-date emission standards, the sector is significantly contributing to air quality improvement.
Integrated public transport authorities—so-called “transit alliances”—determine quality standards, plan timetables, set tariffs, handle marketing and communication and tender public transport services, not only in cities, but for entire regions. The principle “one timetable – one ticket” is put into practice nearly everywhere in Germany.