South Vienna´s Busses: Car, Public Transport, Cycling and Pedestrian

Many people who visit Vienna marvel at the public transportation system. It is comparatively clean and punctual. It reaches all corners of the city. It’s speed is decent.

The first public transportation lines were private enterprises but they were nationalized by the city (cityized?) or basically forced to sell up 120 years ago. Thus, for most of the systems history, it had the city planning it. On the other hand, New York City’s private and public companies competed much longer before the city pulled the plug and took over, resulting in a much less coherent system.

It did suffer the fate of many public transportation systems from the 1950s-70s, many tramway lines were closed to make more space for automobile traffic and then in a second wave many tramways were closed in the 1980s-90s that ran close to a new U-Bahn lines.

Patrick Cipot put a very nice map together of the history the system called ZEITLINIE.

After experiencing a steady decline in ridership the system did experience a rebirth and in Vienna one of the most remarkable shifts in transportation methods occurred.

Modal Split Wien

The graph above shows the modal split, which is transportation method used mainly for a singe journey. Since the 1980s the proportion of people that use a car as the main form of transportation for a journey has declined from the high 40s to about 28% today.  Meanwhiles, the use of public transportation has increased and overtook motorized vehicles and is now used for more than 40% of every journey in the city. Pedestrian traffic has stayed steady at 28 to 26%. Cyclist might one day scratch the 10% mark around 2030.

The city is aiming to bring the motorized individual traffic down to 15% by 2025, if the current trend continues then that will not be reached until 2036. If the trend does continues then Vienna will have 0% cars driving around by 2060. The 15% cyclist will surely have plenty of room on the streets.

The 23. District is stuck in the 80s

The decline of cars is remarkable in Vienna but it has not effected the 23rd District to the same degree. Only 9% of the journeys in the 1st District are completed by car, 15 to 16% in the inner districts 3rd – 9th. The further away from the 1st District the higher the car traffic. In the Transdanubian 21st and 22nd Districts 38% of journeys are by car and in the 23rd District, a whopping 57%. [1]

Modal Split Wien Bezirke

View of a Map of Vienna from the southwest where the 23rd District is located in the foreground. Each district has a column representing the proportion of car traffic.


This 57% car traffic is partly due to the fact that 42%[2] of all commuters into Vienna enter through the 23. District and 84% of the commuters from the south drive by car. Many people from the 23rd District drive to the neighboring towns in Lower Austria, which all have more sporadic public transportation. However, many commuters come through, to and from the 10th, 13th & 14th, 19th, 21st and 22nd Districts.


The structure of the district is also less dense and more diverse than the inner city, but the 21st and 22nd District have a comparable population density and the northwest districts have hills in the west just like the 23rd.

Missing Tramlines


The 23rd District could do with a second or third tram line, but it does have a S-Bahn, U6 and Badner Bahn and the “km tram and U-Bahn track per capita” as well as “km tram and U-Bahn track per square kilometer” is similar to other districts.


The 23rd District should easily have modal split of around 38% car traffic. In my previous blog post I listed my main grievances of the South Vienna´s Busses:

I think the network in the South of Vienna should have a complete overhaul to eliminate these inefficiencies and raise the quality.

[1] VCÖ (Wien, 14. März 2016), Omnitrend, Statistik Austria
[2] Statistik Austria, PGO, Die Presse


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