Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Frankfurt has a rather good transit system. There are several carriers which all apply the same fare system. Therefore one ticket is good for a journey with include severel modes of transit run buy different operators. The fares have to be paid at ticket vending machines or on the bus. There are no turnstilles or other controlling devices. Riders must control themself. If they fail to buy a ticket and fare inspectors check on them they have to pay a fee of 40 Euros. The fare level is above the american. A within Frankfurt trip cost 2 Euros, a suburb trip range between 3 and 5 Euros.
Frankfurt itself is the central city of the so called Rhein-Main-Region . Therefore there are many people which commute each day from the suburbs to the city. The urban Light Rail service is accomodated by the Rapid Transit Trains (S-Bahn). There is one underground section downtown Frankfurt where all lines merge together. At both ends of the trunk line they spread out in several directions.
At the suburban sections they are single-tracked or run in joint operation with other regional trains, long distance trains and cargo trains. They get their electricity from overhead wires with the common German railroad voltage (15,000 volts AC). They can be up to 200m (600 ft) long. Maximum speed is approximately 140 km/h (90 mph). The common headways on each linie are 15 or 30 min. On downsections approximately every 2 minutes a train runs during rush hour. Rapid Transit is very popular since it is fast. And it is very cost effective for medium distance lines with high patronage.
There are 8 streetcar lines. They usually run every 10 min. Many sections are served during rush-hour by 2 linies which combine to 5 min headways. Due to the subway construction in last decades streetcars have lost importance. Despite of this there have been two new sections in the last years. It turned out that streetcars are more attractive than busses and cheaper to build than subways. Therefor neighbourhoods with medium transit patronage are served or are going to be served by new streetcar routes.
- U 1-3 run from the southern railroad station to the north of the city on a common route. Then they split up and serve the neighbourhood "Nordweststadt" (Line U 1) and two suburbs (U2, U3).
- U 4 runs from northern east to downtown, main train station, trade fair and to the north west. This route is the only one separated from street traffic.
- U 5 is a streetcar line heading from the north east to the city centre. There it attends four of U4's unterground stations.
- U 6 and 7 are running on a mostly common route from east to west.
In downtown sections light rail tracks are below street level. In the outskirts they run on right of way on street level. The minimum headway is 2.5 min, usually each linie runs every 7.5-10 minutes which combines to 3-5 min headways on downtown section served by more than one line.
Trains can be as long as 300 ft (100 m). Maximum speed is approx. 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Cars are equipped with indicators and rear view mirrors and gain power from overhead wires. There are no third rails. This is due to the numerous street level sections and the origin from streetcars.
There are several extension projects for the future, especially to establish a genuine subway system someday. For this would be rather expensive, it will probably never be built. Even Frankfurt`s light rail network always grew slower than it was supposed to.
Bus plays a minor role in Frankfurt transit since all major routes are served by rail based modes of transportation. There are several crosstown bus routes, especially in the north. Furthermore busses are used as feeders for the subway linies.
Rapid Transit is run by German Rail (Deutsche Bahn), the national German Railroad operator. Subways, streetcars and busses are run by the city owned Frankfurt Transit Company (Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt). In the next years things might change. The city will order the routes the planned and every bus operator in europe may hand in an offer for operating the lines. The cheapest offer will get the job to serve the line for some years. The cities transit planning unit is TraffIQ. The fare structure and distribution between the operators is organised by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund.
- Information on schedules and anything else
- Frankfurt Transit Company
- Information on transit planning in Frankfurt
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