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Berlin: Public Transport System to be Extended in Several Ways

In December, the timetable for Berlin’s public transport system will change. So will the fares. The good news is that the transport provider BVG is extending and adding several lines.

Berlin, November 19th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — On December 13th, 2020, Berlin’s public transport will be introducing its new timetable. Sounds easy. It would be if Berlin was a village with 306 residents and two bus lines. Line 1 leaves the post office bus stop at 5:01 p.m., while line 2 takes two grannies to the flower shop at 5:59 p.m..

Carefully Orchestrated

In Berlin, a city with 3.8 million inhabitants, a new timetable needs to be carefully orchestrated. At 174 ‘U-Bahn’ stations, trains will have to come in and leave in intervals between 3 and 10 minutes. At the same time, a gazillion buses and trams need to be guided through the city properly. If hundreds of them arrived at the same stop at the same moment, they would have to call Chuck Norris to clean up the mess.

The new ‘U5’ will be inaugurated on December 4th. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

The new timetable will include a lot more than the old one. That is because Berlin’s main transport provider BVG and Deutsche Bahn, the company that runs the ‘S-Bahn’ system, were ordered to extend their services by the Senate Administration of Transport. According to them, public transport, the kind of service Chancellor Angela Merkel told Germans to avoid because of Corona, will be “more attractive and more comfortable”.

Improvements Galore

“We are investing in higher frequencies, additional stretches and new lines”, Transport Senator Regine Günther said. “I am looking forward to the prolonged ‘U5’ line in ‘Mitte’, which will connect the outskirts in ‘Marzahn-Hellersdorf’ to the city center.” The Senator stated, a fully developed public transport system improved people’s mobility while protecting the environment and the climate at the same time. The Senator, a member of the Greens, is right. These are some of the improvements:

> In Spandau’s Hakenfelde and Haselhorst neighborhoods, a new ‘Metrobus’ line will be introduced. The ‘M36’ is supposed to cover the Neustadt and Wilhelmstadt areas as well, and race back and forth in 5-minute intervals. The M36 replaces the bus lines 236 and X36, but is supposed to improve things anyway.

> North of central station, connections to Europacity will improve, with an extension for bus line 147 and a rerouted line 142.

> More electric buses will be added while they are tightening the frequencies of 16 bus, tram and ‘U-Bahn’ lines. The Senate Administration of Transport is so enthusiastic that it mentioned this improvement several times in its latest press release.

> The ‘S-Bahn’ lines S41 and S42 are increasing the number of trips they take on weekends, which means people will have to wait less.

Extended and new bus lines were announced. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Best Part

Let’s now get to the best part. Ready for it? The new ‘U5’ underground, tube, metro or subway line will be inaugurated even before the new timetable kicks in. It connects Hönow to central station. Two of its three new stations are being inaugurated on December 4th, 2020. The third one is delayed because of complications in the construction process.

More information on the new ‘U5’ line? No problem. We can offer three features on the subject. Here they are:

> Berlin: Goodbye to an ‘U-Bahn’ Train Station and Hello to Three New Ones

> Berlin’s New ‘U-Bahn’ and the Light at the End of the Tunnel

> Berlin’s New ‘U5’ Metro Line: When the Construction Manager is a Photographer

By the way: There is bad news too. Fares will increase.

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