A decade of investments for municipal public transport in Frankfurt

InfrastructureInvestmentsNews

The head of the transport department, Klaus Oesterling, sees local public transport in Frankfurt as an investment offensive. “This decade will be a decade of construction and commissioning”.

As part of the tramway strategy decided by the traffiQ supervisory board, the reactivation of the operating lines in Schloßstraße and Mannheimer Straße for regular service will begin. The prerequisite for this is that most of the newly ordered 45 type T trams are available.

The subway to the Europaviertel (U5 West) is already under construction and is scheduled to go into operation in 2024. It is also intended, if possible, at the same time to extend the U5 above ground beyond the previously planned end point by about one kilometer further west via the Römerhof to the local school location.

The cost-benefit study (NKU) for the extension of the subway from Preungesheim to the S-Bahn station Frankfurter Berg (U5 Ost) was concluded positively. The plans that were broken off a few years ago have now been resumed and there is nothing to prevent their realization.

The extension of the U2 from Gonzenheim to Bad Homburg station has already been legally approved and confirmed by a referendum. This will close a connection in the region’s public transport network that was torn up 50 years ago.

The most important project in inner-city public transport is to close the gap on the U4 between Bockenheimer Warte and Ginnheim with a central connection to the Westend university campus (D II route). The extension of the route offers, among other things, a highly attractive connection between the university campus and the main train station with a journey time of around six minutes.

According to the forecasts, a cross-sectional load of more than 70,000 journeys per day can be expected between the university campus and Bockenheimer Warte, which makes the new route one of the most important in the Frankfurt subway network. The Bundesbank, with its several thousand employees, would also have an attractive public transport connection for the first time. With the commissioning of the new route, the route running along the Eschersheimer Landstrasse, the so-called A route, will finally be relieved. In the event of operational disruptions, traffic from the north of Frankfurt would be able to use the A and D routes alternatively. Oesterling does not expect any problems with the groundwater management under the Grüneburgpark in connection with the tunnel construction.

The question of the future organization of the subway construction in Frankfurt also arises. Klaus Oesterling said that he always considered the dissolution of the former Stadtbahnbauamt to be a mistake. “It would be a shame if the newly acquired competence were to be lost again with the end of the construction work for the Europaviertel subway in 2024,” says Oesterling. It is therefore intended to commission the SBEV with the planning and construction of the Ginnheim-Campus Westend-Bockenheimer Warte subway bridge.

With the decision about the future route of the U4, the decision about the interface of the U4 with the ring tram will also be made. This means that the ring tram with the new Markuskrankenhaus-Dornbusch-Eckenheim-Friedberger Warte line can be included in the final planning. As a pure tram project without a tunnel section, the ring tram is expected to go into operation before the U4.

The project to extend tram line 11 from Zuckschwerdtstrasse to Höchst station has also made good progress; a project that the Höchststers had already been promised in the 1928 incorporation contract. Here line 11 will in future use the northern part of Höchst station together with RTW (Regional Tangent West). In order to guarantee planning from a single source, VGF has now commissioned RTW GmbH to plan the tram extension. 

In view of the decisions made by the federal and state governments to increase public transport funding, the head of the transport department expects subsidies of up to 90 percent of the eligible costs.

With the implementation of the investments mentioned, to which the Deutsche Bahn measures would be added, numerous new connections would be created, the number of connection points would increase sharply and the frequency of transfers in the network would decrease significantly, explains Oesterling.

All of the projects mentioned so far – with the exception of the Römerhof subway – have already been approved by the city council with the general traffic plan 2005 (GVP 2005). The fact that these are only now entering the implementation phase is due to the fact that the projects after 2005 had not been pushed ahead with the necessary consistency.

In the area of ​​infrastructure, the tram stop at the main train station will continue to be expanded to four tracks. In addition, with the opening of the gap between Bockenheimer Warte and Ginnheim, VGF needs an additional subway depot in the north of Frankfurt, which, according to the current status, is planned north of the A5 motorway and east of the one along the route of the U3.

The list does not include regional projects such as the tramway projects to Bad Vilbel, Neu-Isenburg and Dreieich. Here, however, the first test results can be expected in the course of this year, explains Oesterling.

Further complex questions would be investigated in the context of the ongoing investigations into updating the overall transport plan. This included the connection of the Europaviertel to the west and south, the future public transport development of the Atzelberg / Seckbach / Bergen area, the continuation of the public transport in the direction of Sachsenhäuser Warte and the development of the new district between Praunheim and Nordweststadt.