Add us to your taskbar by dragging this icon RGI logo to the bottom of your screen.

Close

Austrian lesson

01 Aug 2002

ALL TOO OFTEN urban authorities bemoan the low share of traffic moving by public transport. For an example of a city where the reverse is true, look no further than the Austrian capital. Figures released by Wien city council last month show that a record 729 million passengers rode public transport last year, 4·5 million more than in 2000; this represented 34% of all trips. Fewer urban journeys are being made by private cars and motorcycle, down from 40% in 1993 to 36% last year; the other 30% were on foot or by pedal cycle.

The popularity of public transport is no doubt explained by a dense grid of tram routes meshing well with a steadily expanding U-Bahn network. Common ticketing and a unitary fares structure also help. These are simple lessons which some cities find hard to learn.