How Vienna plans to expand its tram and park & ride systems for commuters

In efforts to give commuters and travellers more flexibility, Austria's capital is expanding its transport services. Check out what is coming in the future.

a tram in the city center of Vienna, public transport Austria
One of the famous Viennese trams will travel to Lower Austria, crossing city limites (Photo by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash)

A new tram between Vienna and Lower Austria is on its way, Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) and governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) announced on Friday.

From 2025, tram line 72 will run from Simmering district to Schwechat, the city where Vienna’s International Airport is located. However, the line will end a few kilometres away by Europaplatz. 

READ ALSO: The best commuter towns if you work in Vienna

The Vienna-Schwechat-Bim is expected to transport around 4,500 passengers daily, Ludwig said. The line is part of a larger plan to give more climate-friendly transport possibilities for people coming to the Austrian capital, including visitors and the more than 300,000 daily commuters, many from Lower Austria.

According to City Councilor Ulli Sima, the total distance of the line will be 6.4 kilometres. Some 2.75 kilometres will be newly built, 1.75 kilometres of which in Lower Austria.

The SPÖ mayor also announced that the Park & Ride system will be expanded. Drivers can leave their vehicles by the car parks within city limits for a very low price and then hop on Vienna’s public transport system. 

By 2024, 3,000 car parking spaces will be added, the mayor said.

This will significantly affect car users visiting Vienna since the capital’s parking system has changed. From March 1st, almost the entire city is a “short-term” zone, meaning parking is only possible in public streets with a resident’s parking permit or a ticket for two-hour parking.

READ ALSO: Five underrated towns you can visit in a day from Vienna

Vienna’s Park and Ride garages are among the best alternatives for travellers arriving by car, costing around € 3.60 per day and close to underground line connections. 

“With this package of measures, we are taking the right step towards promoting climate-friendly mobility in the eastern region”, Ludwig said.

Planning is “largely completed”, the mayor said. The necessary investments will be around € 29 million, with negotiations with the federal government still taking place. 

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Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austria's railways are set to grind to a halt on Monday due to failed negotiations between unions and rail operators, the country's railway system (ÖBB) said on Sunday.

Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austrian railway workers will hold a one-day strike on Monday after another round of negotiations between unions and railway representatives failed.

The fifth round of negotiations over pay rises for 50,000 employees from 65 different railway operators, including the main national operator ÖBB, had failed to come to a resolution.

Vida, the trade union that represents the workers, has asked for a wage increase of €400 – an average increase of around 12 percent.

In response, Austria’s Chamber of Commerce offered an increase of a 8 percent.

With walkouts set to go ahead, there will be no regional, long-distance or night trains on Monday.

“After more than twelve hours of intensive talks, the [two sides] unfortunately did not manage to come to an agreement,” the ÖBB said in a statement.

Cross-border traffic and night travel could be affected, and the ÖBB also warned of “individual train cancellations” on Sunday evening and even on Tuesday.

Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB, said in a statement: “I cannot understand this strike at all. With an offer of 8.44 percent, the ÖBB has made the highest offer of any sector.”

“This is clearly a malicious strike on the part of the union,” he added.

Vida union negotiator Gerhard Tauchner said that they “are fighting for a sustainable cost of living adjustment… which will give relief to those with lower and middle incomes in particular in the face of skyrocketing prices.”

Austria’s year-on-year inflation rate hit 11 percent in October.