Friday, November 19, 2010

Transportation in Vienna

Vienna has an extensive transport system that includes motorways, railways and public transport.

Public transportation

Vienna has a large public transportation network.
Vienna S-Bahn
Vienna U-Bahn
Local Railways (Lokalbahn Wien-Baden)
Wiener Linien (= Vienna Lines, municipal company operating U-Bahn, tram, and most bus routes)
Vienna has an extensive train and bus network, the train network being third largest in the world.[citation needed] In the most populated areas of Vienna, public transport runs so frequently (even during off-peak hours) that any familiarity with departure timetables is virtually unnecessary. The convenience and flexibility of the public transport is in turn reflected by its popularity; 53% of Viennese workers travel to their workplace by public transport. During night hours, public transport is continued by the Nightline buses operating on all the main routes, generally every half hour.
Fare prices within the city are independent of the length of the journey and covers all modes of public transport. Tickets are also available for various time periods, such as 24 hour, weekly, monthly, or yearly tickets.
The Viennese public transport services are incorporated into a larger concentric system of transport zones, the VOR (Verkehrsverbund Ostregion = eastern region transport association). VOR includes railway and bus lines operating 50 kilometers into the surrounding areas, and ticket prices are calculated according to the number of zones crossed, Vienna being a single zone. Tickets must be purchased (and usually validated) prior to boarding or entering a station. Tickets are not routinely checked when entering a station or boarding, but there are surprise inspections on all routes.
There are also two miniature railways: the Liliputbahn in the Wiener Prater and the Donauparkbahn in the Donaupark. They are for amusement purposes and have no practical importance as a means of public transport.


Trains are operated by the ÖBB. Historically, all transport was oriented towards the main cities in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Vienna has several train stations that form the beginning of several train lines:
Wien Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof, the starting point of the Franz Josef Railway
Wien Westbahnhof, starting point of the Western Railway
There are also several through train stations:
Wien Hütteldorf on the Western Railway
Wien Heiligenstadt on the Franz Josef Railway
Wien Praterstern (Formerly known as Wien Nord or Wien Nord-Praterstern) on the Northern Railway.
Wien Meidling (Philadelphiabrücke) on the Southern Railway. This is Vienna's most frequented transit station.
Wien Mitte (Landstraße) on the S-Bahn Stammstrecke ("main line"); it is the nearest railway station to the centre of the city.
There are also a large number of smaller stations that are important for local passenger traffic. Since the mid 1990s, the Westbahnhof and Südbahnhof have handled all long-distance travel. Many trains also stop at Hütteldorf or Meidling, especially when inbound.
In order to bundle all long-distance traffic it has become necessary to build a tunnel, colloquially known as the Wildschweintunnel ("boar tunnel"), underneath Lainzer Tiergarten linking the Western Railway to the Southern Railway. The new bundled train line will connect to a new through train station called Wien Hauptbahnhof that will be constructed on the current site of the Südbahnhof.

Road traffic

As in Austria generally, national highways are referred to as Bundesstrassen. Higher-capacity and higher-speed Bundesstrassen are further categorized into Autobahns and Schnellstrassen (expressways).
Twelve automobile bridges cross the Danube river within the city. From north to south, they are the Nordbrücke, Floridsdorfer Brücke, Brigittenauer Brücke, Reichsbrücke and Praterbrücke.

Four national autobahns leave Vienna in the westerly (A 1), northwesterly (A 22), southerly (A 2), and easterly directions (A 4). Similar to the rail lines, they are commonly referred to after their exit direction (West Autobahn, Süd Autobahn, and Ostautobahn). In addition, several spur and branch autobahns circle around the southern and eastern areas of the city. The protected Wienerwald forest area in the western and northern areas has been left mostly untouched.
The A 23 Südosttangente connects the Süd Autobahn and Ostautobahn, and is the busiest road in Vienna.

Schnellstraßen are similar to Autobahns except that they have slight inferiorities such as lower posted speeds and smaller curve radii. Within Vienna one may find the S 1 Wiener Außenring Schnellstraße and S 2 Wiener Nordrand Schnellstraße.

Similar to the train lines, Bundesstraßen leave the city in a star-shaped pattern. Some are named after their historical final destination, for example Prager Straße to Prague, Linzer Straße to Linz, Triester Straße to Trieste and Brünner Straße to Brno (this last to be supplanted by the aforementioned A 5). Bundesstraßen can be compared to U.S. Highways in the United States, being two-lane in rural areas and multi-lane in urban areas.
European Routes
Several European Routes pass through Vienna, including E 60, E 49, E 59, E 58 and E 461

Air traffic

Vienna International Airport is located to the southeast of Vienna. The airport handled over 254,000 arrivals and departures in 2007 and was frequented by 18.77 million passengers. Following lengthy negotiations with surrounding communities, the airport will be expanded to increase its capacity by adding a third runway. The airport is currently undergoing a major expansion, including a new terminal building and office park, to prepare for an expected increase in passengers.

Water transportation

Vienna is connected to Rotterdam and German industrial areas via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, and to Eastern European countries along the Danube to the Black Sea. Construction on a Danube-Oder Canal was begun during the Nazi era but remains unfinished, though it may be completed in the future.
The Twin City Liner boat service connects Vienna and Bratislava.
Nearly all of Vienna’s drinking water is brought from the Alps to the city via two large water pipelines, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pipelines stretch 120 km (75 miles) and 200 km (124 miles) from the Alps to Hietzing (the city's 13th district). The Alpine sources are pristine and the water does not require treatment.


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