Hitting the road with all kinds of transport

Hamburg will be a model city for mobility

Hamburg is determined to offer versatile mobility – whether it’s by rail, bus, autonomous shuttles, or bike. The city is becoming a pilot for modern mobility.

Hamburg is thinking big. To make transport transformation towards greater sustainability a success in the city, it requires the entire metropolitan region to join in. “We want to make mobility as easy and convenient as possible for people in the metropolitan region, while at the same time organizing it sustainably and efficiently,” says Anjes Tjarks, senator for transport. To that end, Hamburg has now become a “metropolitan model region for mobility”. Now with the support of the federal government, the Hamburg Senate wants to break new ground to make traveling more resource- and climate-friendly.

The task is huge – and Hamburg has been tackling it for some time. More than five million people live in and around the city. About 370,000 people commute into Hamburg from the surrounding areas every day, and 150,000 reverse commute and leave the city. People also like to travel beyond the city limits to go shopping, see their doctor or be entertained. To ensure that all this works in a climate-friendly way in the future, Hamburg is relying less on cars and more on various other forms of mobility.

Bus and rail – the mainstay 

Bus and rail are the backbone of local public transport. The goal is for them to run faster and more frequently – and in doing so transport more people. That’s what makes office buildings like the Elbtower, which are built directly at public transport stations, so sensible, because they are so easily accessible.

Digital networking

Digital networking ensures that the S-Bahn is fully autonomous and still runs during demanding periods. New train lines to Schleswig-Holstein will encourage car owners to choose trains instead. The local public transport €49 ticket will also push the mobility transformation – although this would require more regional trains. “We know as a city that we have to do something about this: build wider bridges over the River Elbe, build a bigger central station, build an additional tunnel through our city,” says Senator Anjes Tjarks. A new bridge over the Norderelbe may soon be needed, alongside the existing two bridgeworks.

Autonomous shuttle buses

There is also autonomous mobility. Sensor and networking technology is already well advanced. More than 60 autonomous shuttle bus services have now been completed in Germany. In Hamburg, up to 10,000 autonomous vehicles are expected to be running within seven years, even traveling as far as the rural areas. A self-driving shuttle bus stop is also being built at the Elbtower.

Bikes are extremely important

Finally, bikes are seen as the means of transport for the future, even if Hamburg’s weather is often changeable. That’s why the city wants to make it easier to take bikes on trains and build new cycling highways. The Elbtower is located directly on two of these new bike routes. More than 900 bike parking spaces, many of them with charging facilities for e-bikes and cargo bikes, are accessible at the Elbtower’s ground level. For those who want to transfer between bike and train or bus, Hamburg is planning more Bike+Ride parking spaces. This year alone, up to 1,200 additional bike parking spaces will be created in Hamburg.

A prestigious world congress 

In two years’ time, Hamburg will be able to show just how great the effects of its mobility transformation are. Then, when the Elbtower is nearing completion, the Hanseatic city will host the “UITP Global Public Transport Summit” mobility congress. The event is considered the most important congress in the industry and attracts mobility fans from all over the world. Those wanting to see and experience the mobility of the future just need to look up at to the 245-meter-high Elbtower.

Photo Credit: © BENTELER International AG

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