Bus, Metro and Tram Services in Berlin
Details and contact information on the city bus and metro transport systems...
Berlin has a 24-hour public transport system which is operated by the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG). A customer hotline is available:
- Berlin Transport Authority
Tel: 030 2974 3333
Open: Monday to Friday 06:00-22:00 and weekends 07:00-21:00
- For maps of the BVG network in Berlin: Click here
- For timetables and routes: Click here
- For tickets and fares: Click here
Finding stops and stations:
- U-Bahn stations are marked with a white U against a square blue background
- S-Bahn stations feature a round green sign with a white S in the centre
- Bus and tram stops are marked with a square white sign featuring a yellow circle with a green H on it (for Haltestelle, or stopping point).
Getting On/Off Buses and Trams
Buses are usually boarded at the front and exited at the rear door. Stops are either announced by an electronic voice or by the driver, or by a digital sign at the front of the bus. On buses and trams it is possible to signal for a stop by pressing a button located on a pole near the seat, (sometimes in the ceiling). Doors will often be opened by the driver but if they aren’t, there is a pushbutton nearby. For those with reduced mobility or with baby carriages, pushing a specially marked button will allow the doors to stay open longer. The doors close automatically.
Tickets and Ticket Zones
The city is split into three travel zones: A, B and C.
- Tickets can be bought using cash or credit cards from automatic ticket machines located at all S- and U-Bahn stations and with coins only from ticket machines located on all tram services. Payment on buses is made directly with the driver
- Single tickets for zones AB, BC or ABC must be stamped in the separate validation slot and are good for a one-way journey of up to two hours
- Daily tickets (Tageskarte) can be bought for the different zones and are valid until 03:00 the next morning
- The "short trip" ticket (Kurzstrecke) is valid for three stops on S- and U-Bahn services and six stops on buses and trams
- The small group ticket (Kleingruppenticket) permits up to five people to travel on one calendar day until 03:00 the next morning
- The seven-day weekly ticket (7-Tages-karte) as well as the monthly ticket (Monatskarte) and yearly ticket (Jahreskarte) provide access to the entire public transport network for the specified period. These tickets also permit up to three children (6-13 years old) or one adult to travel for free between 20:00-03:00 during the week and all day at weekends and on national holidays
- Discount daily, monthly and yearly tickets are available for children, students and the unemployed with the relevant documents
- Taking a bicycle on board also requires a supplementary bicycle ticket (Fahrradkarte)
Illegal Travel and Fines
There are no ticket barriers on the Berlin transport network and inspectors, mostly in plain clothes, appear randomly throughout the day and can issue an on-the-spot fine for illegal travel (Schwarzfahren).
All bus and tram services offer wheelchair access for disabled passengers. Most S- and U-Bahn routes also have wheelchair access. To check that a certain stop offers this access, interactive information stands can be found on most platforms and provide advice on the nearest stations catering for wheelchair access.
Animals On Buses and Trams
Small animals travelling in a cage or other transport housing, as well as small dogs may travel freely. Larger dogs can also travel for free but must be muzzled.
The BVG operates 150 day and 54 night buses in Berlin on a network made up of 10,000 bus stops.
- For information on routes and timetables: Click here
Tickets must be presented to or bought from the driver on boarding the bus and then validated. Day services begin around 05:00 and run until midnight and night buses offer a means of transport throughout the night. Useful routes are:
- X9 (from Tegel Airport to Zoological Gardens train station)
- TXL (from Tegel Airport to Alexanderplatz train station)
- 100 ("the tourist route" from west to east passing all main attractions)
Berlin's underground system runs two types of train, the S-Bahn and U-Bahn. Both travel under and over ground. The system is operated by both S-Bahn Berlin and the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) running fifteen S-Bahn and nine U-Bahn train services, respectively. The routes are denoted by number such as S1, S3, S42 or U2, U8. Operating times vary slightly, but most run during the week from 05:00-01:00 and non-stop at the weekend every ten to twenty minutes, depending on the time of day. Night buses replace most services between 01:00 and 05:00.
For S-Bahn services:
For S-Bahn, U-Bahn (bus and tram) services:
- To download a network map of S and U-Bahn services: Click here
- For information on specific routes Tel: 030 19 449
U- and S-Bahn trains stop at every station. Some trains have doors which open by a lever or a pushbutton, and newer ones are automatic. In bad weather, passengers can close the train doors again while the train is stopped without having to wait for them to close. There is a button near the doors for this purpose.
The largest tram network in Germany comprises thirteen tram and nine metro tram routes halting at 789 tram stops around the city. Most services are concentrated in the former eastern part of the city. Trams are punctual and accessible and often offer more efficient travel alternatives to bus, S- and U-Bahn services.
The majority of buses, bus stops, trams and tram stops, underground and overground train stations (U und S- Bahnhoefe) in Germany are wheelchair friendly. There are also some provisions for visually disabled people.
Specially equipped buses and trams
These buses and trams are marked with a wheelchair symbol as being equipped for the disabled, and a footnote on the printed schedule provided at every stop indicates which trams and buses are so equipped. Look for the words behindert (disabled) and ausgestattet (outfitted). Both buses and trams also have seat-belt-like straps provided to prevent the chair from rolling during transit.
- Specially equipped buses also offer disabled access by allowing the driver to lower the steps to form a platform at curb level for wheelchairs. To signal for a stop, press a special blue button (usually marked with a symbol of a either a wheelchair or a baby carriage), which keeps the doors open for a slightly longer time.
- Specially equipped trams have similar access for wheelchair users.
Even on those buses not specially equipped, there is enough space for a wheelchair across from the rear door. For people with difficulty walking, there are marked seats at the front of every bus that are close to the door and offer greater ease getting into and out of them. These are marked with a blue and white cross just above or below the seat. Anyone may use them, but an able-bodied person must give up the seat to a disabled passenger upon request.
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