The buses of the Upper Austrian Transport Association (OÖVV) have around 38 million passengers per year. Demand is continually increasing. “More and more people are choosing climate-friendly mobility,” says OÖVV boss Herbert Kubasta. Therefore, the offering must be constantly adapted and optimized. Together with State Transport Councilor Günther Steinkellner (FP), ÖBB regional boss Eva Hackl and transport planners Gerald Grüblinger and Ulrich Schuller, he presented the most important changes to regional bus and train transport in Linz on Tuesday. They come into force on December 10th with the Europe-wide timetable change.
1. New transport concept in the Gmunden/Vöcklabruck area
Anyone traveling by bus or train in the southern state will soon have even more options. Every year, traffic planners target a new region, says Kubasta. This year the focus is on the Gmunden Nord/Vöcklabruck area, including the districts of Grieskirchen, Wels-Land and the Salzburg area. In the districts, the range is being expanded to include 85 modern regional buses including free WiFi, USB ports and predominantly cashless payment options. The buses then cover an additional 1.1 million kilometers. That is almost 30 percent more than before.
Where the offer is being expanded:
Between Vöcklabruck and Gmunden The intervals are becoming more frequent because additional fast connections run with a connection to the Salzkammergutbahn in Gmunden. In addition, the buses will run daily from December 10th. The buses between Ohlsdorf and Schwanenstadt will run faster in the future. The reason: The connection leads directly via Windern (B135) to Schwanenstadt train station, where trains to and from Wels and Linz run every hour. The Unterfeld operational development area becomes more accessible for public transport users by offering additional courses between Vöcklabruck and Regau be created. In Vöcklabruck there are also hourly connections to and from Linz. Rush hour traffic also benefits from new ones Direct connections. The cities Schwanenstadt, Attnang-Puchheim and Vöcklabruck as well as the community Timelkam are connected to all important residential, commercial and industrial areas – including Kaufing, Ghegahof, Redlham commercial park, Varena, hospital. This fulfills a “long-standing wish of the population,” say the traffic planners. In the densely populated corridor between the Attersee and Vöcklabruck area Buses and trains will run more often. One line is scheduled so that on weekdays a bus or train runs between Schörfling and Vöcklabruck about every 30 minutes. On weekends there is a 2 hour interval. Between Mondsee and Neumarkt am Wallersee A new offer is planned on weekends and public holidays. Also Excursion destinations, like the Almsee, are easier to reach with the new timetable. Bus line 534 (Grünau-Almsee) will be “massively densified” and will serve as an “extended Almtalbahn” in the future. In general, bus and train timetables will “harmonize” better in the future. This means that the travel times are coordinated with each other. This means there are more connections while avoiding parallel travel. “According to the motto: the train is the backbone, the bus is the feeder,” say the transport planners.
2. First e-regional bus fleet in Upper Austria
In addition to the annual timetable change, State Transport Councilor Steinkellner also presented a “special innovation” on Tuesday: the first electric bus fleet in Upper Austrian regional transport goes into operation. It serves line 601 as an airport bus, and the intervals between Linz Airport and the main train station are also significantly shortened. From Monday to Friday – except mornings and evenings – the e-bus runs every half hour. A connection is offered every hour on Saturdays and every two hours on Sundays and public holidays. The route remains the same. Municipalities served directly include Linz, Leonding, Pasching, Hörsching and Traun.
State Transport Councilor Günther Steinkellner, ÖBB regional manager Eva Hackl and OÖVV boss Herbert Kubasta in front of the new airport bus Image: State of Upper Austria/Daniel Kauder
3. New connections in the Mühlviertel and the Danube region
The new express connection from Rohrbach-Berg to Linz main station (line 230) is primarily intended to serve commuters who want to travel from the Upper Mühlviertel to Linz early in the morning or return home in the afternoon. On line 260 (Reichenau – Kirchschlag – Linz) an early route now also runs on holiday days. From Hellmonsödt Hochheide to Linz (line 300) there is an additional connection early in the morning. Between Linz and Reichenau via Altenberg (line 305) there are almost continuous hourly connections . There is an additional crash course between Freistadt and Linz (line 310) at 7:30 a.m. on school days. The Gallneukirchen and Freistadt route (line 312) will be relieved with another bus starting at 6:53 a.m. There are no transfers for students between Aschach, Eferding and the Dachsberg high school (line 663).
4th district Braunau
Line 873: In keeping with the BORG Straßwalchen school end times at 1:00 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:40 p.m., there are three courses on school days with departure times at 1:13 p.m., 2:53 p.m. and 3:48 p.m. in the direction Scherschham via Lengau and Lochen.
Line 431: Aligned with the two intercity trains at 7:00 p.m. from Hinterstoder train station to Linz or Graz, a new, daily pair of courses will be introduced between Hinterstoder Ort and Hinterstoder train station.
6. Central room
Line 600: New express route on weekdays from Monday to Friday at 7:10 a.m. from Wels main station with arrival at 8:05 a.m. in Linz main station. Line 616: New morning route on Saturdays at 6:10 a.m. from Pucking via Haid to Traun Hauptplatz. Line 618: New evening connections on weekdays from Rutzing to Traun Hauptplatz
7. Expanded rail transport offerings
The frequency is increasing, there are new morning and evening connections as well as connections on weekends. Western line, Pyhrnbahn, Summerauer Bahn, Passauer Bahn, Almtalbahn, Salzkammergutbahn, Kammerer Bahn, Lokalbahnen Stern & Hafferl – You can find the most important changes here.
The ÖBB is also expanding long-distance transport, which also means additional offerings in Upper Austria:
Another ICE runs from Vienna via Linz and Wels to Nuremberg, Berlin and Hamburg in the morning and in the opposite direction in the afternoon (e.g. from Berlin). A new Railjet connection takes travelers from Vienna Airport to Linz late in the evening (arrival at 1:57 a.m.). From Graz we often go to Linz in the morning and back in the afternoon. This means that in the future there will be four direct connections between the state capitals. Also new to the timetable is the EuroNight connection from Munich via Attnang-Puchheim and Linz to Krakow and Warsaw (Poland).
8. Higher fares and cheaper leisure ticket
At the beginning of 2024, the Upper Austrian Transport Association will adjust prices. The adjustments affect single tickets and day tickets, as well as weekly, monthly and annual tickets. Tickets on OÖVV buses will cost an average of 4.94 percent more from January 1st.
In Linz, prices for single tickets and day tickets are rising by an average of 2.5 percent, in Wels it is 1.5 percent and in Steyr it is 6.7 percent. In all three cities, weekly and monthly tickets cost 4.8 percent more with the tariff increase.
Good news at the end: The Upper Austria leisure ticket will be cheaper in 2024, the price will fall by five euros to 19.90 euros. In addition, the ticket will be valid for longer – until 3 a.m. the following day. And on the occasion of the Cultural Capital of Bad Ischl – Salzkammergut, it will be valid throughout the entire Salzkammergut, including the Styrian and Salzburg parts. This means that up to two adults and four children under 15 can ride.
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