Since 26 November, trams of lines 4 and 6 have been running in the direction of Reininghaus and Smart City. This means that one of the largest urban development projects in Graz in recent decades is now optimally connected to public transport in the Styrian capital.
“I would like to thank the residents along the new lines for their patience with the major construction sites. The commissioning of the two lines will now take place close to the time when the residents move in and the shops settle as well as the start of child care and educational facilities. After all, several thousand people will live, work and learn in the Reininghaus district and in the Smart City when it is finally completed,” says Elke Kahr, Mayor of Graz. For Kahr, “lines 4 and 6 are virtually the backbone of the two districts in the west of Graz” and they are “a very important step in public transport in the city of Graz.”
This was made possible not least by the cooperation of all those involved. Kahr: “My thanks go to everyone who has been involved with the planning, financing and construction work from 2019 since the planning decisions in 2013 and 2015 respectively.” In addition to the Graz city planning department, these included the traffic planning department, the road department, those responsible at Holding Graz and the province of Styria.
Like Elke Kahr, Deputy Mayor Judith Schwentner also sees the two new lines as an important step for public transport in Graz. Together, the two politicians emphasise: “This is only the beginning of an expansion offensive for the tram network.” Schwentner: “Next on the agenda is the inner city decongestion. At the same time, we will start with concrete planning for the south-west line so that we can begin construction before the end of this period. The tram extension is our top priority.”
The total cost of the two tram extensions is 72.5 million euros. 44.2 million went to Reininghaus and 28.3 million to the Smart City. The province of Styria bears one third of the costs incurred.
Governor Hermann Schützenhöfer emphasises: “The mobility of the future must be well connected and climate-friendly. With the new tram lines 4 and 6, the west of the Styrian capital is now also optimally connected to public transport. Well-available connections are essential to make the switch to trams and buses more attractive and to reduce the dependence on individual transport. I am very pleased that after setting the course and implementing it over the last few years, this important project can now go into operation. After all, mobility and measures for climate protection have the highest priority for our liveable Styria and its provincial capital.”
Provincial Transport Officer Anton Lang: “In all efforts in the regions, it has always been clear that the province also supports the infrastructure of rail-based public transport in Graz. In accordance with the funding agreement with the City of Graz, we as the Province of Styria are contributing one third to a total “heavy” package of 117.4 million euros of new construction and extensions to the tram network, as well as an additional base subsidy for accompanying cycle paths and measures on state roads in Reininghaus. In total, around 43.8 million euros will be put in hand for this.” In addition, the province of Styria will provide support in obtaining federal funding.
(Photo above/from left: CEO Malik, LH Schützenhöfer, Bgm.-Stv. Schwentner, Bgm. Kahr, Stadtbaudirektor Werle, LH-Stv. Lang, Executive Board Perz)
In addition to the trams, the bus network in the entire west of Graz has also been massively expanded. For example, from 26.11.2021, line 65 will have a new routing coming from Puntigam and will run from the “Grottenhofstraße” stop via Peter-Rosegger-Straße – Reininghaus (together with line 4) – Alte Poststraße to Gösting (instead of line 85, which will be discontinued). Bus line 65 merges, so to speak, with line 85 and becomes the new line 65. The new line 65 is the new north-south tangential in the west of Graz. The operating hours on line 65 are extended to Monday-Sunday 5-24 hrs.
Line 62 will run every 10 minutes (previously 15 minutes) from Monday to Friday from 6am to about 7.30pm. On Saturdays every 10 minutes from 9am to 7pm and now on Sundays every 15 minutes (previously every 30 minutes) from 10am to 9.30pm. On weekdays, articulated buses will also be used on line 62. Line 66 runs from Monday to Friday every 10 minutes (previously every 15 minutes) from 6 am to about 6.30 pm. On Saturdays every 10 minutes from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and now on Sundays every 15 minutes (previously every 30 minutes) from 10 a.m. to 8.30 p.m..
With tim, Holding Graz operates one of the leading car sharing services in Austria with more than 2,500 customers and one million kilometres travelled with the e-vehicle fleet. In the future, customers in the west of Graz can look forward to two additional locations in Reininghaus (Reininghauspark/tim stop and Brauhausplatz stop) and one location in the Smart City (Smart City/Peter-Tunner-Gasse/tim terminus).
Every day, Graz Linien safely transport several hundred thousand passengers to their destinations. The number of public transport users, which has been increasing for years – apart from the Corona intermediate stops – will continue in the coming years due to population growth and infrastructure projects in the metropolis on the Mur. The consequence of this development: public transport and modern mobility services in Graz will be further expanded!
Thus, trams play an essential role in a growing city like Graz. With the financing of around 62 million euros released by the owner in the first quarter of 2021 for the purchase of 15 new trams, including the conversion and expansion of the necessary infrastructure in Remise 3 in Eggenberg, Graz Linien is setting a milestone for public transport in Graz. Currently, Graz Linien has 85 trams in its fleet. In the early operational peak, 60 trams will be in operation when the new lines come into service. From 2025 onwards, additional service extensions are to follow.
City Planning Director Bertram Werle:
“Simultaneously with the start of the settlement of the two climate-friendly and sustainable district centres, the tram starts its operation. As the most efficient means of public transport in combination with active mobility, it forms the basis for the city of short distances. This means that 15,000 people – which corresponds to the number of inhabitants of Bruck an der Mur – will be able to run their daily errands and use attractive recreational space directly in their living environment.”
Holding Graz CEO Wolfgang Malik:
“In total, no less than 1.15 billion euros have been invested in the expansion of public transport in Graz since 1999. Tomorrow’s launch will not only connect two smart city districts to public transport, but will also expand the network of tram tracks in Graz by 10 per cent from 63 kilometres to around 70 kilometres. The significance of this historically unique project can also be seen in the fact that for the first time since the introduction of the tram in 1878, the extension of two lines can be put into operation simultaneously on one day.”
Holding Graz board member Mark Perz:
“I would like to thank all my colleagues at Holding and the City of Graz who have put a lot of work and heart and soul into the projects over the past years. Of course, innovative mobility offers should not be missing in the modern city districts. In addition to the eleven existing multimodal tim nodes in Graz, two more locations will be added in Reininghaus (Reininghauspark/tim stop and at Brauhausplatz) and one location in the Smart City (Smart City/Peter-Tunner-Gasse/tim terminus).”