The rush-hour subway train glides into the station, the doors snap open, and passengers move forward to board. As they enter the crowded carriage, they’re met no longer with a musty blend of human odours, but with the subtle aroma of citrus fruit.
A pick few trains on Vienna’s U-Bahn are trialling perfumed carriages following proceedings that the town’s subway gadget turned into unpleasant at some stage in the summer season, no matter massive air con.
According to Wiener Linien (Vienna Lines), the metropolis’s public shipping operator, remarks has been “mixed”. But the fact that Vienna’s biggest public shipping debate this summer is over perfumed carriages is evidence of a broader achievement tale.
A dense constellation of trams, buses, trains and subway automobiles, Vienna’s machine widely appears as one of the satisfactory within the global. And it’s miles remarkably reasonably-priced for citizens: just a euro an afternoon for those who buy the €365 (£328) annual pass. For evaluation, a similar bypass is €761 in Berlin or £2,020 for London zones 1-4.
Berlin is one of several German cities looking at copying Vienna’s pricing policy, as municipalities across Europe look for innovative guidelines to decrease emissions and get greater people on to public transport.
The euro-a-day price ticket becomes the brainchild of the former Green deputy mayor of Vienna, Maria Vassilakou, who ran for the workplace in 2010 promising €a hundred season tickets. Most other politicians notion this changed into crazy, mentioning that the existing €449 ticket became already cheap via European requirements. After an extended negotiation, a compromise rate of €365 turned into agreed and released in 2013. The consequences have been extensive.
“For human beings with modest incomes the saving definitely made a difference, and for properly-off humans, it has become something you purchase it to have it just in case,” said Vassilakou.
Sales of annual tickets are up from 321,000 in 2011 to 822,000 this yr. When youngsters and college students, eligible for inexpensive passes, are introduced to the entire, round 1.1 million of Vienna’s 1.9 million populace has a protracted-time period pass.
The greater price tag sales meant that the already beneficiant town investment for delivery infrastructure did now not must be extended an excessive amount of to meet the shortfall. Wiener Linien gets around €700m a year in subsidies. There are not any plans to raise the once a year ticket charge, which has remained static when you consider that 2013, while brief-time period price tag costs creep up – each day pass now charges €eight.
Using Vienna’s transport system is straightforward, with quick interchanges, minimum distances between stations, and trains or buses that arrive at everyday intervals.
“Time as we enjoy it isn’t always approximately mins, it’s approximately our feelings. People say in Vienna; it’s brief. It’s now not, it’s just clever,” stated Hermann Knoflacher, a professor and concrete planning professional who has worked on the town’s transport infrastructure since 1963.
The community is a mix of antique and new, and ancient infrastructure bureaucracy a part of a totally present-day gadget. The city’s U-Bahn machine only began working in the past due 1970s, but makes use of the ornate Jugendstil entrance pavilions and glossy structures – designed by using the architect Otto Wagner – that have been part of an overground railway community constructed within the overdue nineteenth century.