In a press release Maria Vassilakou, Vienna councillor for Urban Development, Transport, and Climate Protection, said that “attractive S-Bahn connections are key to offering real alternatives to cars for the thousands of commuters who enter and leave Vienna every day. The improvements in the S-Bahn network will also bring advantages for Vienna residents, and make a significant contribution to climate protection.”
Next year improvements will be made to the S7 route to Vienna airport, as well as the S-Bahn routes leaving Franz-Josephs-Bahnhof and the Ostbahn route. Additional services will be provided at peak times. The plan is that all S-Bahn routes will eventually run trains every 15 minutes – making it easier to get across Vienna and out of the city.
From December 2017 the S7 train between Floridsdorf and the airport will run four times an hour, rather than two. Passengers who already have a travel card for Vienna only need to buy an extension ticket costing €2.20 to get to the airport – making it perhaps the cheapest airport train from any of Europe’s capital cities.
The S40 train from Franz-Josefs-Bahn to Klosterneuburg and Tulln will have extra services during the morning and evening rush hour. The S60 route between Wien Hauptbahnhof and Bruck an der Leitha will have additional services on weekdays, providing an extra 500 services.
Another development which is being hailed as climate friendly by the Greens is the new IKEA store which will move into the former Austrian Railways (ÖBB) building at Vienna’s Westbahnhof – meaning a car or train trip to IKEA will no longer be necessary for Vienna residents as the Westbahnhof is easily reached on foot, by U-Bahn or bus. An opening date has not yet been announced.
IKEA spokeswoman Barbara Riedl said there was no comparable model for such a centrally located store, which makes a car-trip unnecessary. The new IKEA should also bring more people to the shopping centre at Westbahnhof, which has seen a fall in sales since the main train station relocated to the new Hauptbahnhof. The Green party said the new store will provide between 250 and 300 jobs.