The history of Munich city public transportation network dates back to the year 1968, when the German federal railway (GFR), federal government and the state of Bavaria commenced negotiations that were aimed at bringing together all the existing public transport systems. The area targeted by transportation system reforms covered a radius of 45 kilometers with 2.3 million inhabitants. A total of1.3 million persons were living in the city of Munich while the remaining 1 million inhabited the suburbs (Dameri, 2016). In 1972, the public transportation systems were successfully integrated and put under one governing authority, subsequently leading to the establishment of an integrated fare system.
Such extensive system consists of an interwoven network of suburban trains (S-Bahn), underground (U-Bahn), buses and trams.
Figure 1: German Map showing the extensive public transport system between various cities.
Germany has got a total of 43,468 kilometers railways connecting variouscities and states. Most of the metro cities in the country have got S-Bahn rail system which connects larger population of people to regional towns and suburbs. However few cities including Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Nuremberg boast of having an elaborate underground (U-Bahn) and tram system.
Figure 2: U-Bahn and S-Bahn in Munich City
The city of Munich is the third largest town in Germany with a total population of over 2.3 million people. The city’s public transport system provides a firm fixture on its history and cultural orientation. The majority of the city’s residents drawn from every walk of life use trams, buses, and underground trains as their main means of transport. According to the passenger volume records reported by the Munich Transport Corporation (MVG), approximately 555 million people crisscrossed through the city in the year 2014 (Damieri, 2016). Along with its history and rich culture, the city has got some remarkable historical sites, museums and the Oktoberfest festival which attracts millions of visitors every year (Johnson, 2005). The festival requires both the Munich inhabitants as well as the visitors to enjoy beer and a travelling funfair while using the public transport system. Thus, the native’s culture has been vital in increasing the acceptance of public transport system in Munich city.
Figure 3: Metro line, Tram, and Bus line
The public transport system includes 275 miles of S-Bahn, 49 miles of thetram, 59 miles of U-Bahn and 282 miles of thelocal bus route. 35% of the residents use the system on a daily basis while 66% use it several times per week. Most of the people who use the public means of transport are employees of various companies with their calculated median age being 42 years old.The majority of the population using the system are German citizens while the remaining minority are made up of foreign tourists made up of different nationalities.
Munich visitors,’ mainly foreign tourists, prefer public transport over any other means. A report published by the Journal of Destination Marketing and Management indicated that 77% of foreign tourists used public transport while visiting attraction sites or travelling around Munich for an overview of the city. Among the different modes of public transport available, the underground train (U-Bahn) appeared to be the most popular transport mode preferred by 88% of the tourists.Geographically, the city’s physical locationas well as the extensive road network makes it possible for people across all parts of Europe to use it as an exit or entry route to various other regions (Di & Schulte, 2013).
Barriersthat have had an impact in the the use of public transport system in the city includetransport schedules, fare prices, delayed ticketing system and personal comfort. A research interview focusing on the non-use of public transport by visitors in Munich showed revealed that four out of ten individuals were not contented with the schedules of public transportation system. They would prefer to have their private means so as not to feel inconvenienced. Two out of ten visitors were not comfortable travelling amongst a crowd of people while one out of ten found the fare prices of public transport systems to be very high. Other respondents in the interview perceived having some difficulties while travelling with their children using public mode of transport.
The new public transport changes in the Munich city have featured punctuality in transport schedules, easy and centralized ticketing for all public transport systems, subsidized fare prices, and comfortable rides. The subway has also been fitted with communication signals enabling the passengers to enjoy uninterrupted communication during the travelling experience. The reduced fare prices have enabled the new system to attract more passengers while the centralized ticketing system has made it easy for commuters to have one ticket serving different transport plans.
New York City
The history of public transportation in New York City dates back to the year 1658 when commuter links were paved to connect surrounding cities. The city’s subways and elevated trains used for mass transit of people were introduced in the 19th century with the first subway becoming operational in the year 1904. Today, New York stands as the top most city having the highest utility of public transport systems in the United States. 54.2% of its daily commuters use public means of transport, which include the use of subways, trams, buses, and commuter rails (Shaw, 2011).
Figure 4: New York subway system
The city’s subway has got 422 stations making it the largest in the world and is also ranked among the ten best subways having the most number of public riders. Approximately 4.8 million commuters use the subway every weekend with the numbersprojected to increase exponentially within the next ten years. The city’s public transportation network mainly depends on the subway system which links all towns and city’s suburban except for the Staten Island which is predominantly connected by a railways system. Apart from the subway, the New York City commuter rail system was developed with 20 rail lines and 250 operating stations. The rail system serves approximately 150 million people yearly, who travel through the New York state and other two states in a tri-state region rail network (In Wee, 2013).
Figure 5: Commuter Rail Network
The city’s population was estimated to be over 8.5 million with a population density of 28,053 per square kilometer as of 2015 and accounts for more than 40% of the New York state population. 44% of the population are white, 25.5% are of African descent, and 12.7% Asian. At least 35% of the city’s commuters are foreigners from various parts of the world.
The city attracts large numbers of visitors who use the public transport system. According to New York state statistical data, the city receives approximately 60 million tourists annually, subsequently, generating substantial traffic in subways and rail networks. 41% of public transport commuters use the subway, 24% drive cars, 12% use the bus, 2% use commuter rail, 5% use carpool, 0.2% use theferry, 1% use a taxi and 0.6% who use bicycles. The city’ residents have a culture of travelling for long periods and are known to have little interest in owning cars. For instance, over half of the residents do not own a car, while the mean travelling time for commuters in the city is 39 minutes.
The three main barriers to the use of public transport system in the New York City include barriers to thecommuter rail station, impediments to intermodal transfers, and barriers to inter-agency transfers. The commuter rail tends to be located in less densely inhabited suburban areas as evidenced by the location of Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-north Rail Road (Metro-North). Thus, themajority of commuter rail users own and use their cars frequently due to unavailability of other forms of transportation that connects them to the local train station.Transferring from a subway presented a huge barrier due to its different methods of payment while having three states with different fare collection system at each transit presented a huge impediment to the use of public transport.
The new changes in the city have led to theintroduction of feeder buses to serve commuters using rail mode of transport. Parking fees have also been increased to discourage the public from using private cars while accessing the rail stations. The introduction of a metro credit card has also enabled commuters to switch from one mode of transport to another quite easily. Scheduling was frequently done to reduce passengerinconvenience (Raskin, 2014).
Comparing Munich and New York City
The two cities present an advanced modern public transport system that links various towns, states and suburban. Each of these cities is successful in one way or the other. From the analysis, we saw that Munich city had got a well-coordinated ticketing system where the commuter is required only to have one ticket while switching from one mode of transport to another. The tram, S-Bahn, and U-Bahn all have standard prices across the city’s various locations. The city transportation system is readily accessible to commuters, at a distance of not more than 400 meters. Various tourist attraction sites are also accessible via the public transport system making the city’s public mode of transport the best choice to none. Fare prices are also lowerrelative to other available private means of transport.
On the other hand, New York City ticketing system faces a lot of challenges. The use of Metro smartcard while switching modes of public transport has not be standardized due to challenges brought up by inter-state transport connections. Most commuters in the city of New York are still residing far away from rail transport making them resort to using personal cars while accessing rail stations. The transportation network in the city is influenced by transit charges imposed by the two other states.
Thus, the city of Munich has gone a long way to improving its transport network, therefore, achieving its objectives of conserving time and money through efficient transportation.
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Di, D. M., & Schulte-Peevers, A. (2013). Munich, Bavaria & the Black Forest: Marc Di Duca [and others]. Footscray, Vic: Lonely Planet.
Jönson, G., Tengström, E., Volvo Research and Educational Foundations., & Conference on Future Urban Transport. (2005). Urban transport development: A complex issue. Berlin: Springer.
Shaw, P. (2011). Helvetica and the New York City subway system: The true (maybe) story. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Raskin, J. B. (2014). The routes not taken: A trip through New York City’s unbuilt subway system.
In Wee, B. ., In Annema, J. A., & In Banister, D. (2013). The transport system and transport policy: An introduction.