Integrated and seamless public transportation
Leipzig, located 160km away from Berlin, is a hub of trade and economic activity. Due to its physical location, it is a major regional hub that connects to major cities in Germany and neighboring countries. With forward-looking policies, Leipzig is a leader in sustainable mobility in Germany. Leipzig works towards providing integrated and seamless mobility to ease the convenience of commuters and encourage people to travel in an ecomobile manner instead of using a car.
Leipzig Central Station is Germany’s largest railway station measured by floor area, with a multi-level concourse and a large shopping center. It functions as a major regional hub for long distance train connections and connects many other transport modes such as the bus, tram, S-Bahn (light rail), and both bike and car-sharing stations. This allows for a smooth transition from one mode to another. The linchpin of the S-Bahn network is the Leipzig City Tunnel, an underground railway line connecting Leipzig with the region and the city of Halle. The ten lines serve 1.2 million people in the Leipzig/Halle metropolitan area.
The next critical component is the 215km extensive tram network that is the third largest in Germany, with 13 routes traveled by 295 trams through 518 stations. Since 1 January 2018, the tram network runs entirely on renewable energy, also a first for Germany. Tram stations are connected to other forms of local public transportation, including the 46 bus routes covering a total of 749km, allowing the network to serve the entire area of the city.
Integrated local and regional partners
There are two main actors responsible for the provision of public transportation in Leipzig. The first is the municipal transit operator, the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB), which is responsible for the bus and tram networks and the overall planning and management of public transportation in Leipzig. LVB takes over 148 million passengers yearly. The second is the Mitteldeutscher Verkehrsverbund (MDV) or Central German Transit Alliance who coordinates the regional transportation, namely the S-Bahn. LVB is part of this Alliance and works closely with it to provide integrated ticketing and timetable services across the region. In November 2018, the LVB and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure commenced a 4.43 million Euro project to develop a Mobility Factory. The aim is to create digital opportunities and solutions to meet transport needs in the future.
Real-time information of the public transportation services can also be found on the easyGO, Leipzig mobil, and DB smart applications. These applications provide information on bus, trams, trains, shared cars, shared bicycles and taxis so that commuters can plan and pay for their journey easily. To close the first- and last-mile gap, Leipzig has been planned as a compact city that encouraged walking and biking. For example, trams and tram stops are designed to be friendly for people with reduced mobility. Greening of tram tracks is done to beautify them and increase green space.
Leipzig’s commitment to sustainable urban development won it the title “European City of the Year 2019” by the London-based Academy of Urbanism.