Talking Headways Podcast: Verkehrsverbund – A Seamless Journey

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This week we’re joined by Professor Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech, who talks with us about the German transport concept of Verkehrsverbund. The word translated to English means “transport network.”  We discuss where the first Verkehrsverbund was formed and how more integrated systems could make transport in the United States more efficient and connected. There’s also a discussion about docked bike share as well as how we can think about mobility as a service platforms in the future and their relationship to existing transport systems.

  • Max Wyss

    I enjoyed this podcast.

    Three things I would like to add, however:

    1. The “national” “Generalabonnement”(global pass) in Switzerland existed for several decades before the first Tarifverbund/Verkehrsverbund came to life. Urban systems got included some 40 years ago. Nowadays, it costs CHF 6300 (roughly the same amount in USD) for a “normal” adult in first class per year (but there are many formulae for couples, families, even including the dog). I had that some years ago, and it was “my pass to freedom” (actually, I could do it without a car for the first 50 years of my life).

    That said, the concept of a monthly or annual pass was nothing new at all in Switzerland, as most operators had something like that (I remember the “Semesterpass” for university students).

    2. There is a considerable difference in financial possibilities/capabilities of a city between (the German speaking part of) Europe and the US. A city in Germany, and even more so in Switzerland has quite a bit of financial capability and autonomity. That means such a city can do way more when it comes to transit without having to ask elsewhere.

    3. Because of the different political processes, NIMBYs have way less power in German speaking cities than in the US.

  • I simply don’t understand rented bikes/scooters all together, I could easily spend 20 30 40 minutes on a bike and if it’s going to cost me a dollar a minute forget about it!!!

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