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No increase in passenger numbers with the ‘365-euro Annual Pass’ – civity examines the ‘Vienna Model’

The insights gained from the introduction of the 'Vienna Model' were the subject of Stefan Weigele's paper on Thursday, March 27, at the 'Transport Policy Breakfast' hosted by Hamburg’s State Representation Office in Berlin.

For decades, public transport in Switzerland has served as a role model in analyses and comparisons all over the world, but for some time now there has been increasing talk about the so-called ‘Vienna model’. It is frequently used by transport politicians and journalists as an example of best practice.

Talking before a distinguished specialist audience, Stefan Weigele explained how public transport in Vienna has developed both before and after the introduction of the 365-euro Annual Pass in 2012. It became clear that the share of journeys made by public transport has hardly changed over the past six years, despite the increase of more than 100% in annual tickets sold. The 9% increase in the number of passengers is below both the growth in the number of inhabitants over the same period and average annual growth before the introduction of the 365-euro Annual Pass. No direct correlation can be found between the price reduction and the increase in passenger numbers. All in all, the introduction of the lower-priced annual ticket did not lead to a significant increase in either the number of passengers or the modal split share.

The high modal split share of public transport in Vienna is primarily due to the city’s very high settlement density, a much denser public transport service than in German cities and more extensive parking space management. In addition to revenues from parking space management, a separate employer’s levy makes a significant contribution to financing public transport in Vienna.

In 2012, civity accompanied the fare reform (‘365-euro Annual Pass’) together with Wiener Stadtwerke and Wiener Linien and continues to advise both companies to this day.