Local Transport In Germany – Part 1

Local Transport In Germany - I

We briefly discussed Train Travel In Germany in our article part I. Here we’ll talk about a few more types of local transport in Germany which the citizens can use. Most German cities and towns have well-organized systems of public transportation. In the larger cities of Germany, local transport is usually run by a transport association. It integrates all types of public transport into a single network. To manage the local transport, Germany’s states have buses and trams. We will talk about all of these types of local transportation in detail and will learn to use all these types according to our usage. 

Table of Contents

Buses in Germany

Many German towns and cities use most buses. The bus services link further afield places and operate into the night when the other forms of transport stop running. Bus stops usually fall every 300 meters and are signified by a green “H” on a yellow background.

In Germany, bus service has been provided by many national public transportation authorities. Each German state manages the local transport within its borders. This is how dozens of sources offer bus services to each corner of Germany.

Every transportation association is generally responsible for buses and trams within their region. Let’s look at the list of some of the public transportation companies in the larger cities of Germany.

  • Berlin: BVG
  • Bremen: VBN
  • Cologne and Bonn: VRS
  • Dresden: DVB
  • Frankfurt am Main: RMV
  • Hamburg: HVV
  • Hannover: GVH
  • Leipzig and Halle: LVB (only in German)
  • Magdeburg: MVB (only in German)
  • Munich: MVV
  • Nuremberg: VGN
  • Rhein-Neckar (Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, and Mannheim): VRN (only in German)
  • Rhein-Ruhr (Bochum, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Hagen, Mönchengladbach, Wuppertal): VRR
  • Rostock: RSAG
  • Stuttgart: VVS

Night buses are ordinary in urban areas and more minor in smaller towns.

Bus Tickets and Costs in Germany

Ticket prices for buses in Germany depend on the public transportation authority which runs the bus services. Let’s have a look at the five kinds of tickets.

  • Kurzstecke (short trip ticket): These tickets are valid for 30 minutes or even less short period. You can travel a few stops without changing the transportation.
  • Einzelfahrt (single ticket): These tickets are for 60 to 90 minutes of travel time. It gives you enough time to change the vehicles. In Berlin, single tickets with different prices are based on the number of zones you travel to. On these tickets, the return journeys and round trips are not permitted.
  • Tageskarte (day ticket): You can travel for 24 hours from purchasing the ticket. Day ticket also offers you unlimited travel on a specific calendar day. You can travel with a couple of additional hours of validity after midnight. This will allow the passengers to return home from an evening outing.
  • Wochenkarte (week ticket): It is similar to a day ticket. You can get the same unlimited travel within a specified area for an entire week. The option for buying tickets that are valid for a longer duration is also available, that is, a month pass. You can purchase these tickets from an official at the ticketing office.
  • Gruppentageskarte (group day ticket): Most public transportation authorities offer these tickets for up to five passengers on a single ticket in Germany. Tickets in Germany don’t come at less amount. The group day ticket provides you the excellent value for money. It is an ideal option for a day trip. These tickets give unlimited travel for a day or 24 hours.

Buying a Bus Ticket

For the bus services, you can buy the tickets from the driver. Most of the bus stations have a staffed ticket office where you can buy all kinds of bus tickets. It also includes season tickets. Most transport operators offer E-tickets via using an app.

Validate Your Ticket

Most service providers check the passengers’ tickets before boarding or immediately after boarding the buses. Once you purchase the ticket, you should check it. Suppose ‘Bitte entwerten’ is written over there in the German language. In that case, you should use the ticket validation machine ‘Entwerter.’ These machines are available at the bus stop or inside the buses.

If you purchase the wrong ticket for public transportation, it would be costly. The starting fine is €60 for the first violation. That’s why you should check the ticket types according to your requirement.

Bus Stops in Germany

Bus stops in Germany tend to be similar to the bus company that serves them. Moreover, bus stations have the ubiquitous green ‘H’ inside of a yellow circle; it indicates a bus stoppage. Most of the busier bus stops have weather shelters, ticket machines, and electronic signs with live departure times. On the other side, in more rural areas, bus stops may only consist of the sign and the bench.


Germany has an extensive number of tram networks generally. In the country, henceforth the tram is the most common interurban transport system. The tram services are not so fast. However, the tram network covers the most critical areas, and they are present in many cities. Altogether, trams are present in 17 cities in Germany.

Basically, most German cities like their core bus service with trams. Trams have a higher capacity with a greater frequency than buses. Although, trams tend only to serve the busiest neighborhoods. In Germany, tram stops are often combined with bus stops and indicated by the word ‘Tram’ on a red background. At a few stops, there may be an electronic sign that indicates the route number and when the next tram will arrive. You will also find a framed timetable on a post at the stop. Trams have ticket machines to purchase the tickets.

In a Nutshell

Undoubtedly, German public transport is accessible, efficient, and safe. Likewise, the bus stations are easily assessable in Germany. As a result, all bus networks provide punctual service to the local transportation hubs, even in villages and rural areas. You should need to take a guide about the transport type and fares accordingly to your requirement. Their citizens highly complement German public transport, and likewise, prefer using it on an average day.

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