SHARE
COPY LINK

UKRAINE

Austria announces free public transport for people fleeing Ukraine

Wiener Linien, Vienna's public transport operator, has announced refugees from Ukraine can travel on the city's public transport network for free, following a similar move by ÖBB.

Austria announces free public transport for people fleeing Ukraine
Wiener Linien is offering free travel to refugees from Ukraine. Photo by Samuel-Elias Nadler on Unsplash

On Monday, Wiener Linien announced on Twitter that anyone fleeing Ukraine will be able to use public transport in Vienna without a ticket between March 1st and March 15th.

In the event of a ticket check, people can show documents that they have travelled from Ukraine.

The organisation said it is their “responsibility to provide quick and unbureaucratic help”, and also announced they are reviewing the possibility of long-term support for those impacted. 

The announcements were made in both German and English.

Wiener Linien is responsible for around 180 tram, bus and underground train lines across Austria’s capital city.

Refugees from Ukraine can already use ÖBB (Austria’s national rail operator) services for free by showing their travel documents.

The move follows similar announcements in Poland, Germany and Switzerland to assist those fleeing conflict areas. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

UKRAINE

REVEALED: What is Austria’s emergency plan if Russia cuts gas supply?

Amid fears about what would happen if gas supplies to Austria were disrupted, the Federal Government has put together a package of measures to create a strategic gas reserve.

REVEALED: What is Austria's emergency plan if Russia cuts gas supply?

It has been well reported that Austria is heavily reliant on Russian natural gas – but what would happen if supplies were suspended or stopped altogether?

Austria sources 80 percent of its gas from Russia, so the country would be seriously impacted if supplies were disrupted due to the war in Ukraine, a breakdown of diplomatic relations or any other unforeseen event. 

This is why the Federal Government has now unveiled a package of measures to protect Austria’s gas reserves in the event of an energy emergency.

READ MORE: ‘An unprecedented situation’: How would a gas embargo impact Austria?

What is in the package?

Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler and Finance Minister Magnus Brunner presented the plans following a meeting in the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, May 18th.

The most important points include an increase of the strategic gas reserve by 7.4 terawatt hours (TWh) to 20 TWh. This would cover Austria’s gas consumption for two winter months but the additional gas would not be sourced from Russia, according to the Kronen Zeitung

Gewessler said: “This measure will significantly reduce dependence on Russian gas.”

Increasing the strategic reserve with non-Russian supplies will reduce Austria’s dependence on Russian gas to 70 percent, Gewessler added.

Additionally, gas storage facilities located in Austria – such as the Haidach facility in Salzburg – must be connected to the Austrian gas grid. Haidach, which is supplied by Gasprom, is currently only connected to Germany’s pipeline network and has not been refilled for some time.

Finally, any unused gas in company storage facilities should be surrendered to the government if needed. Companies will be financially compensated for this.

READ ALSO: Austrian Economy Minister says gas embargo would be ‘red line’

What about next winter?

Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer has already said that gas storage facilities in Austria have to be 80 percent full before the next autumn and winter season.

The storage level is currently at 26 percent, reports Der Standard.

Gewessler also appealed to the Austrian public to make changes to help reduce the dependence on gas for energy, calling for more gas boilers to be replaced with other heating systems.

She said: “Together we are strong and together we can achieve this feat.”

READ MORE: What would an embargo on Russian oil mean for Austria?

SHOW COMMENTS