Totally overcrowded trains, delayed or cancelled suburban trains and the feeling of not really being well informed - commuters in particular are aware of the everyday annoyances in local traffic in and around Frankfurt. But Klaus Oesterling, head of the traffic department in Frankfurt, promises improvement. In particular, he has announced a number of measures designed to have a positive impact on the situation in local transport: The continuation of tramway line 14, a quarter bus for Niederrad, a major advance for local transport in Gateway Garden, a denser offering for the growing number of passengers and closing the gap between night and day traffic. At its last meeting, the Supervisory Board of the urban transport company traffiQ, of which Oesterling is Chairman, passed the necessary resolutions. Subject to the approval of the magistrate and city councillors, this increase in attractiveness for the timetable change can take effect on 15 December. Whether this can only be read well or also put into practice is, however, questionable due to the many shortcomings with which local traffic has to struggle on a daily basis.
Oesterling is certain, however, that the planned measures will have a positive effect: “As a growing city with currently around 750,000 inhabitants and more than 375,000 commuters daily, Frankfurt am Main faces particularly great challenges in the sustainable design of mobility“, the traffic director notes. “Public transport, which we are consistently expanding step by step, is an essential key to the solution.“
The focus of the future-oriented development of Frankfurt's public transport system is on both ecological and economic aspects. “Already today, Frankfurt's buses and trains with a dense network and modern, clean vehicles make a major contribution to environmentally and customer-friendly mobility in Germany's commuter capital“, Oesterling continues. “In addition to the consistent conversion of bus traffic to emission-free drives, we will also provide higher mobility capacities for the growing city.“
Tom Reinhold, Managing Director of traffiQ, formulates the claim of the urban public transport company: “We do not only want local transport to grow with the increasing traffic volume, we also want a higher share of buses and trains in the modal split. This can be achieved with the help of an attractive, fast and reliable public transport system.“
The December timetable change package includes the following measures:
- Tram line 14 will be extended in Gallus via Gustavsburgplatz to Mönchhofstraße. With a few exceptions, line 21 will always run to Nied Kirche.
- Tram lines 12, 17 and 18 will in future run every 10 minutes on Saturdays instead of every 15 minutes.
- Low wheel receives the long desired quarter bus with bus line 84.
- With the opening of the Gateway Gardens S-Bahn station, Line 77 will take on a new function as a link to the future Airport Terminal 3 and Cargo City South.
- Two subway lines, three tram lines and 17 bus lines offer tighter intervals or more space at the necessary times through additional cars or the use of articulated buses.
- The hourly cycle, which at times still exists on five bus lines, is replaced by a half-hourly cycle.
- For six bus lines, the gap between night and day traffic that had arisen after the introduction of the new night traffic is closed.
- In addition to the general extensions to the range of services, there are also further journeys for schoolchildren.
>Additional costs of about 3.6 million euros
These necessary additional services in Frankfurt's public transport system cause additional costs of about 3.6 million euros in total. Insofar as they cannot be covered by fare receipts, they are borne by the City of Frankfurt (via the budget of traffiQ for bus transport) and Stadtwerke Frankfurt am Main Holding (via the budget of VGF for rail transport). For this reason, they are still subject to the resolutions of the respective committees.
For City Councillor Oesterling, these measures, which are to be implemented by December 2019, are a further step in the consistent further development of Frankfurt's local transport as a sustainable mobility alternative in the city: „We're not stopping: New rail vehicles have been ordered. Further expansion of the network is underway: The extension of the U5 underground line to the Europaviertel is under construction. Plans are underway to extend the same line to the north from Preungesheim to Frankfurter Berg and the U2 line in Bad Homburg. The decision on the alternative for closing the gap between Bockenheimer Warte and Ginnheim is to be made before the end of this year - an urgently needed project to relieve the strain on Frankfurt's strongest subway line, on which four lines run every 2.5 minutes.“
Beyond Frankfurt's borders, the director refers to the important rail projects such as the four-track extension of the railway line to Bad Vilbel for the S6. The Regional Tangent West and the North Main S-Bahn.