More buses, more trains: What is the BVG planning in the Science City Adlershof?

27. August 2019

More buses, more trains

What is the BVG planning in the Science City Adlershof?

Rainer Paul © BVG

Rainer Paul, district and target group manager of Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) © BVG

Buses and trams to Adlershof are often overcrowded, particularly during commuting hours in the mornings and afternoons on weekdays. And the Science City keeps on growing. How will future employees commute, students get to university, and residents go home? We spoke to Rainer Paul, district and target group manager of Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin’s main public transport company, about short, medium, and long-term solutions.

Adlershof Journal: How many bus and tram lines are currently running to the Science City? How many passengers is the BVG servicing every day?

Rainer Paul: The bus lines 160, 162, 163, 164 und 260 run to Adlershof. A total of 6,500 passengers use them every day. In addition, there are tram lines 61 and 63. Both lines bring 3,000 passengers to their destination between the S-Bahn station Adlershof and the current terminus at Karl-Ziegler-Strasse.

You are planning a more frequent service during peak times for popular bus and tram lines. Does this affect any lines at Campus Adlershof, what will the frequency be, and when will they be implemented? Do you plan on deploying double-decker buses to make up for a more frequent service?

Let’s start from the bottom: no, we are not planning to deploy double-decker buses because the joint bus and tram route that goes underneath the bridge at Adlershof station does not have the required height. In 2021, when the new tracks on Gross-Berliner Damm are completed, the tram line M17 will be extended from S-Bahn station Schöneweide to Adlershof. This will double the available services during peak hours on Rudower Chaussee and Gross-Berliner Damm.

We are also planning to increase frequency on bus line 164 between Siriusstrasse and S-Bahn station Adlershof as early as December 2019, when the new timetable is introduced. As of 2020, we will focus on further expanding bus services, particularly south and west of the Landscape Park Johannisthal. We are currently coordinating these efforts with the district administration and the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment. After all, our transportation services are ultimately deployed by the State of Berlin.

However, a high service frequency is not everything. We also need priority switching for tram tracks and bus lanes. On Rudower Chaussee, passengers are often caught in traffic. We are working on this issue.

This year will see the first electric buses go into operation. Will they also run in Adlershof?

The first series of e-buses is being deployed and the electrification of our bus fleet is picking up steam. It is important to note, however, that deploying electric vehicles is not enough. We also need the matching infrastructure, particularly for charging. We are currently investing in innovative concepts to power our e-buses. Adlershof will see its first electric buses in just a few years.

The BVG is currently testing a self-driving minibus in a pilot project on the EUREF Campus, which, instead of running on a schedule and fixed routes, can be hailed individually using an app. Is this project planned in Adlershof, too?

No, we currently do not have plans to introduce self-driving, or highly automatised driving, respectively, in Adlershof. The project at EUREF Campus has since been completed. But people can still experience the self-driving minibuses without charge on the Charité campuses Mitte and at the Virchow Clinic.

The BVG has two so-called Jelbi Stations in Berlin, where people can rent shared vehicles from various providers. Is such a station planned in Adlershof? If so, where and when?

There is a great interest in a Jelbi-Station in Adlershof. We have had first talks on this issue, which were promising. However, location and opening date are not yet official.

There is an increasing concentration of living quarters and shopping opportunities on Gross-Berliner Damm. Extending the trams line from Karl-Ziegler-Strasse to S-Bahn station Schöneweide has been planned since 2015. Now construction is delayed despite the available 2.7 kilometres of new tracks. Why? When will the first tram go from Adlershof to Schöneweide?

In 2021. Despite the existing tracks, we will have to conduct a complete and comprehensive replanning of the tram service in this area. Moreover, the requirements for environmental protection and noise regulation have been tightened since 2015. The authorisation process will take at least 1.5 years despite the available tracks. The area around Sterndamm is particularly challenging because it will require the construction of extensive electrification systems.

Are you planning to set up an express bus line for commuting students between the Humboldt-Universität in Mitte and in Adlershof?

No, we are not planning such an express bus line. We recommend the S-Bahn for a quick commute between the two campuses.

Things are also changing in the neighbourhood of the other side of the Adlergestell. It is planned to double the tracks for the tram in Dörpfeldstrasse. When’s that happening?

This is planned for 2025. We are currently preparing the planning procedure.

Is there any future scenario where the tram is extended from Adlershof to Rudow, or the U-Bahn subway line is extended from Rudow to Adlershof?

This is not up to the BVG. The Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment is responsible for planning new lines. However, the current public transportation plan contains a demand plan until 2035, which provides that there will be a new line between Johannisthal and Johannisthaler Chaussee. This would create a traffic link to U-Bahn line 7.

 

Interview by Sylvia Nitschke for Adlershof Journal

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