The Bonn Metro is a railway transportation system found in the west of Germany in the city of Bonn. It is also commonly referred to as Stadtbahn, which means light rail in German. It is distributed across 9 lines and 64 stations with a total length of 125.36 kilometers (77.9 miles). Some stations are below ground while others make up the surface level tram.
It was inaugurated on March 22, 1975, when the railway systems providing services to the city, were unified and the most essential part of the system, the core, began to operate. From the beginning, the system’s lines have undergone a series of expansions and adaptations. The basic fare is 1.90 euros ($US 2.30) and service runs continuously from 5:00 am until 12:00 midnight.
Located in the west of Germany, Bonn is a city in the Federal Republic that encompasses both hemispheres of the Rhine River. With an extension of 141.06 square kilometers (87.66 square miles), it is one of 20 of the largest cities in Germany. All throughout the territory, there are a total of 322,125 people that make this their home.
Bonn serves as a sort of diplomatic and institutional epicenter, as there are 19 United Nations organizations united along its streets, as well as the main headquarters of the German Federal Post Office and the National Telecommunications Company. In essence, Bonn is a conventionally structured city. However, in certain areas, the classic construction mixes with extraordinary modern buildings.
The climate can be classified as Atlantic-maritime and it is one of the warmest regions in the country. The minimum temperature in winter ranges between -10 and 2°C (14 and 35.6°F) while an average temperature of 10°C (50°F) is maintained the rest of the year. A maximum temperature of 18°C (64.4°F) is reached in July.
The Bonn Metro travels 125.36 kilometers (77.90 miles) throughout the city and part of its surrounding areas. Its official inauguration took place on March 22, 1975, when it unified the operations of the entire railway system. Over the years, a large scale regional system developed, as the train network was strengthened in conjunction with the city’s neighboring systems.
Most trains, integrated by the Bonn Metro, are low-floor B-cars. They are especially manufactured for light rail trams, by the company, VÖV. However, some lines such as 16, 18, 63 and 67 use the K5000 prototypes that are made by the Canadian company, Bombardier Flexity Swift, which also supplies vehicles to Cologne’s neighboring railway system.
The system has an average of 92 million passengers annually.
Bonn Metro is operated by SWB (Stadwerke Bonn), a subsidiary company of Rhine’s buses, trains and trams. Two of the system lines belong to Bonn’s Electric Railway Company and the Rhein-Sieg (SSB) district, of which 50.01% belongs to SWB. As a result, the operations usually overlap.
In the mid-60s, 5 private companies were responsible for running the city’s railway transportation. This included the combination of the railroads and the surface tram railways that connected to the regional railroad and the interurban routes from the Rhein-Sieg district. In 1967, however, the government began to evaluate the situation and proposed putting a plan into place that would more efficiently connect Bonn with the city of Cologne. It was then that the project was structured into underground tunnels on which the train connected to both cities in a reduced amount of time.
This involved a relocation to the vehicular level and a new provision of rolling stock. Old trains that were a part of the old fleet were exclusively used on the surface level routes, while trains with the most up to date technology were supplied to the main underground system. Bonn Metro’s first route covered the north-south corridor and began its operations in 1972. The route running east to west began to circulate in 1986. As the years passed, the system underwent more than ten expansions and with each time, it became more and more interconnected with other transportation lines. Consequently, a large transportation system for Bonn residents and its neighboring cities was constructed.
The Bonn Metro has 9 lines, six of which belong to the underground system and three that are integrated with the tram. 64 stations are divided among both systems which provide railway service to all the city’s main areas, the outskirts and the large surrounding cities. All lines are managed by SWB, the metro’s main operator.
Line 16 runs almost directly through the city’s east-west corridor, from Köln-Niehl to Bad Godesberg station. It covers a length of 45.6 kilometers (28.3 miles) and runs parallel to Line 63. It consists of 8 stations to which the train circulates at a speed of 34 kilometers per hour (21.1 miles per hour). This line’s distinguishing color is blue.
Line 18 runs primarily along the east-west corridor. However, some portion of the route does run from north to south. It has a length of 48.4 kilometers (30.1 miles) distributed among 8 stations and runs from one far end of the city at Köln-Thielenbruch station to Bonn Hauptbahnhof station. The trains run at an average speed of 38 kilometers per hour (23.6 miles per hour). This line can be identified by the color dark blue.
Line 61 is one of the tram routes. It extends just 1.8 kilometers (1.11 miles) and forms a Z like shape. The line partially moves along the east-west corridor but service is centered in the north-south area. There are a total of four stops that run from Dottendorf to Auerberg station. The average speed is 16.5 kilometers per hour (10.25 miles per hour) and the distinguishing color is apple green.
Line 62 runs throughout Bonn in a C like shape. Therefore it covers part of the east-west corridor and also runs in a north-south direction. It is 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) with a total of 10 stations that run from Dottendorf station to Oberkassel station. A trip’s average speed is 22.5 km/h (14 m/h) and its distinguishing color is dark green.
Line 65 covers the north-south corridor on a route that is very similar to Line 61. It is a total of 16.5 kilometers (10.3 miles) with six stops whose terminal stations are Ramersdorf and Auerbergland. This line’s trains run at an average speed of 22.8 kilometers per hour (14.2 miles per hour) and its distinguishing color is yellow.
This is the shortest line in the whole underground system, at just barely 12.3 kilometers (7.6 miles). It has a total of 5 stations that partially run along the city’s east-west corridor. The terminal stations are Tannenbusch and Bad Godesberg, respectively. Sky blue is the distinguishing color and a trip’s average speed is around 32.1 kilometers per hour (20 miles per hour).
Forming a horseshoe like shape throughout the entire city, Line 66 runs from east to west as well as from north to south. There are a total of nine stops that go from Siegburg to Bad Honnef station which covers a total distance of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) and maintains an average speed of 31 kilometers per hour (19.3 miles per hour). This line’s distinguishing color is fuchsia.
Line 67 runs parallel to Line 66 but with a less extensive route and more connections to the ground level tram. There are a total of 5 stations that begin at Siegburg station and end at Bad Godesberg station. It is 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) long and its distinguishing color is light pink. This runs as a supplementary line on extremely crowded days.
Line 68 travels along the east-west corridor, in conjunction with Lines 66 and 67. It is 16.8 square kilometers (6.5 square miles) and its terminal stations are Bornheim and Ramersdorf, respectively. Purple is the distinguishing color and, like Line 67, it serves as a supplementary line to the main line, Line 66. It runs at an average speed of 37.3 kilometers per hour (23.2 miles per hour).
Bonn’s railway system is completely interconnected with the transportation methods of other cities, such as the Cologne Metro. The train system also provides bus connections. The bus line is run by SWB, which manages the city’s various transportation methods. Also among this subsidiary’s mobility plans is the Taxi Bus. Due to distance, it travels to destinations where regular buses do not. Some of its stops connect to the tram or to the underground system.
The school bus system also connects to the Bonn Metro. They run from the underground stations or the tram and travel directly to city schools. Another important method which meets the city’s transportation demands is the overnight bus. It includes ten lines that run while other systems are reducing their service. It connects to Stadtbahn’s main stations as well.
In addition to the surface level lines that run through the inner part of the city, the Bonn Metro is connected to Cologne’s Stadtbahn. Together, they form the Stadtbahn Rhein-Sieg network, which covers the Rhine River’s surrounding metro areas. In turn, it connects to the land routes of the regional railway, known as Rheinuferbahn (Rhine Railway), which is utilized to transport heavy cargo across both cities. The S-Bahn’s S23 Line can also be reached from the central train station. Its final destination is Rheinbach.
The Vorgebirgsbahn is another transportation method that connects Bonn with Cologne and complements the Stadtbahn. It is similar to the Rheinuferbahn’s railway, but it is particularly responsible for transporting people. All these systems are unified by a group of companies that control all the electric trams in the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district. This is joined by the Siebengebirgsbahn, the seven mountain railway that runs parallel to the river.
The Cologne-Bonn Konrad Adenauer International Airport is the sixth most important airport in the nation. Located in the outskirts of Bonn, the airport is equidistant from the Rhine Metropolitan District’s two cities. More specifically, it is 16 kilometers (10 miles) from central Bonn and the position that it holds as the nation’s busiest air terminal lends to its popularity.
There are various ways to reach Bonn from the airport. The first option is taking the SWB route SB60. This is a bus route that takes just 30 minutes to travel from the terminal to Bonn Metro’s Hauptbahnhof station. Another option is to take Line S13 from Deutsche Bahn, followed by taking a train to central Cologne where there are a number of connection options via the tram, underground system or railway.
The Bonn Metro runs continuously from 4:30 am until about 2:00 am. It maintains a fixed schedule, with the exception of some lines that only run during the week. On average, trains typically run every 10 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes at night. However, there are particular variations depending on the time of day and frequency of the trains.
The first train departs at 4:45 am from Hauptbahnhof station and the last train arrives at 2:26 am at Niehl Sebastianstr station. Operations begin at 5:05 am on Saturdays and run continuously until 3:20 am. On Sundays and holidays, operations begin at 5:34 am and end at 2:08 am.
A 10-minute frequency is maintained on this line, until 8:00 pm, in which it changes to every 15 minutes. It then runs regularly, every 15 minutes, until service ends. On Saturdays, it runs every 15 minutes. On Sundays and holidays, it runs every 30 minutes, until 11:00 am, and then runs every 15 minutes until closing.
Line 18 begins service precisely at 3:39 am, when the first train departs from Dransdorf station and runs until 1:44 am, ending at Thielenbruch station. On Saturdays, service begins at 4:42 am and ends at 1:44 am, the following day. On Sundays and holidays, this subway service begins at 6:38am and runs continuously until 1:07 am.
This line arrives every 20 minutes during weekly operating hours. It runs every 30 minutes during the day and every 60 minutes at night on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
The first tram on this line departs at 5:29 am from Hauptbahnof station and the last one arrives at Kopenhagener Strasse station at 1:33 am. Service begins at 5:33 am and ends at 12:33 am on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Train frequency is every 10 minutes during regular operating hours. It runs every 15 minutes on Saturdays, and an arrival pace of every half hour is maintained on Sundays and holidays.
Service on this line begins precisely at 4:15 am, when the first tram departs from Quirinusplatz station and ends at 12:59 am at Behuel Bahnhof Bf station. Service begins at 5:10 am and ends at 12:59 am on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Beginning at 8:00 pm, the tram arrives every 10 minutes, followed by every 30 minutes until the last run. On Saturdays, it reaches each stop every 15 minutes, until 8:00 pm, when it changes to every 30 minutes. On Sundays and holidays, the tram maintains a frequency of every 30 minutes.
The first train departs from Hauptbahnof Gieis U1 station at 4:45 am and the last station arrival is at 12:26 am at Niehl Sebastianstr station. On Saturdays, service begins at 5:05 am and ends at 3:26 am the following day. On Sundays and holidays it runs from 5:34 am to 2:08 am.
Trains regularly arrive every ten minutes, Monday through Friday, until 8:00 pm, when they begin to arrive every 15 minutes. On Saturdays, they run every 15 minutes and on Sundays and holidays, trains arrive every half hour.
Line 66 begins operating at 4:03 am at Hauptbahnof Gieis U3 station, Monday through Saturday, and ends at Siegburg Bahnhof station at 3:57 am the following day. It maintains the same closing schedule on Sundays and holidays, but begins operating at 4:33 am.
Train frequency is every 20 minutes from opening until 8:00 pm, at which it begins to run every 30 minutes. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, it maintains a half-hour frequency.
This line only runs Monday through Friday from 6:23 am, when the first train departs from Heussalle station, until 8:28 pm, when the last train arrives at Hauptbahnof Gieis U3 station. Trains arrive every 10 minutes.
Service begins at 3:39 am, when the first train departs from Dransdorf A station and ends at 1:44 am when the train arrives at Thielenbruch station. On Saturdays, it begins operating at 4:42 am and ends at 1:44 am. On Sundays and holidays, the trains run continuously from 6:38 am to 1:07 am.
Trains consistently arrive every 20 minutes. They arrive every 30 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
There are shared features between the Cologne Metro and the region’s other similar transportation systems. The prices vary according to the distance traveled and all are established by SWB, which is responsible for managing Bonn’s transportation. SWB also works with KVB, the company that regulates the Cologne Metro. Some fare options include:
The following table demonstrates the various ticket types and the cost corresponding to each rider’s category.
In addition to the modernization of each station and the reconditioning of lines to carry heavy transportation, Bonn Metro’s major expansion project is the construction of a new line. Running from the central station to Bonn Hauptbahnhof station, this new channel will supply transportation to the underground system as well as to the tram.
Bonn is one of Germany’s most traditional cities. This fact is proven by the hundreds of antique structures seen across the major city. Additionally, as a metropolis that is not too expansive, the city remains walker-friendly via its pedestrian paths. United among its streets is an exuberant culture combined with large educational and diplomatic structures.
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