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Vienna 'plans annual ticket price reduction'

Annual passes for public transport in Vienna will become cheaper in a few months’ time, according to a newspaper.

Die Presse reports today (Tues) the ticket will cost just 365 Euros as of 1 January 2012. Passengers interested in acquiring an annual ticket are currently forced to fork out 449 Euros. The city government of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the Greens plans to increase the price for a single ticket from next year, Die Presse added. According to the Viennese paper, the eight-day individual rider ticket will also become dearer in 2012.

Austria’s first coalition of SPÖ and Greens is reportedly optimistic that these measures will increase the share of public transport in the capital which has around 1.7 million residents. The teams of negotiators headed by Greens Vice Mayor Maria Vassilakou and Social Democrat Rudolf Schicker failed to confirm the newspaper’s claims. Both politicians pointed out that talks were ongoing. Results could be presented in autumn, according to Vassilakou.

It has to be seen how such a price reform will go down with supporters of the Viennese Greens. The party promised ahead of last October’s election to do what it can to decrease the price for an annual pass more significantly. Vassilakou explained back then she wanted the ticket to cost 100 Euros. SPÖ Mayor Michael Häupl recently said the Greens may have learned to face reality – and financial restriction – since they are in power.

The most recent Wiener Linien ticket price reform took place in July 2009 when the price for a single ticket was upped by 10 Eurocent to 1.80 Euros. The price of an eight-day rider pass was increased by 1.60 Euros at that time.

More than two million people use buses, trams and U-Bahn underground trains in Vienna every day. This means that public transport claims a share of around 35 per cent in overall traffic in the federal capital.

Wiener Linien is monitored by the city government. The firm recently introduced an electric bus (e-bus) on a city centre route. More of those vehicles may soon be acquired and eventually fully replace Wiener Linien’s liquid gas-powered fleet.

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