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2002 - 2018:  MVG starts:
positioning in competition and continuing development

The new headquater of the Munich Urban Company "Stadtwerke"  at Moosach.

Picture: Stefan Obermeier

On January 1, 2002, the "Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH", MVG for short, officially became a 100% subsidiary of Stadtwerke München. The establishment of this subsidiary had become necessary in order to be able to compete in Europe-wide competition in the public transport sector. The new company name was applied to all vehicles and also to the new service clothing of the driving personnel. Curiously, only a few months earlier, the Mainz Stadtwerke had founded a subsidiary with the same name "MVG" and similarly designed logo. The changeover to the euro on January 1 was also a technical and logistical challenge for MVG.


At the turn of the year, 42 employees were working to fill and monitor the machines with the new currency. From the beginning of 2002, the new SWM headquarters in Moosach was moved into, the more than 100-year-old directorate of public transport in the Einsteinstraße was abandoned. The tram and bus control center also found a new home in the SWM headquarters.


The underground operations center followed two years later and completed the MVG operations center. Premiere for the MünchenTram: During the Oktoberfest in 2002, MVG offered tram specials and city tours for the first time with a historic M-train from 1957. Around 4,000 passengers use the offer in the first year.


On November 11, 2002, the first of ten new Type C1 subway trains went into regular passenger service, much later than originally planned. The reason for the delay were technical problems, especially with the clutches. The new subway set new standards and was well received by the passengers. In December 2002, eight more trains were ordered.

As of July 1, 2003, the company Verkehrsbetriebe was given a new structure: Three so-called departments with comprehensive responsibilities were set up: the "Transportation Services" division, the Bus division and the Rail division with the subway and tram divisions.


The underground network continued to grow: on October 18, 2003, the U1 was extended from Westfriedhof to the newly built Georg-Brauchle-Ring station. One year later, the next extension to the new terminal station Olympia-Einkaufszentrum (October 31, 2004) took place. To the timetable change in December 2003, the tram line 12 was accelerated. Thus, the acceleration of the tram in Munich was completed and the tram much more punctual, comfortable and economical way. Without acceleration, 16 trains would have to be used today.


At the timetable change in December 2004, the MVG bus network was reformed. The aim of the "TopBus" over-planning of the entire network was to align the bus system, which had grown historically in many small steps, to the current customer and transport needs and to make it more attractive to passengers. New hallmarks were the MetroBusse on the inter-urban main lines and the city buses to develop the neighborhoods. The conversion made the bus network more economical.


In May 2005, in time for the opening of the new stadium in Fröttmaning, the upgrading of the U6 was provisionally completed. Since then, additional trains and employees for security and clearance have been deployed for every match in the arena. The nearly 20-year-old operation control system for bus and tram was also renewed. By the time of the Football World Cup 2006, the conversion to the new ITCS (Intermodal Transport Control System) was completed.

The most beautiful summer ever became even more beautiful: in mid-June 2005, a decorated P-train drove through the city as a so-called BlumenTram - the rolling MVG contribution to the BUGA in Munich. A snow chaos brought in early March 2006 also bus and tram to a halt. Operation was temporarily suspended for security reasons. Despite the use of temporary 250 helpers from the fire brigade, THW, city and MVG, some sections of the route were only passable after days.


In June 2006 Munich was once again in football fever. World Cup was announced! All in all, around 1.7 million enthusiastic football fans used the U6, which had already been extensively upgraded in 2002, in the stadium and the U3 for the Fan Fest in the Olympic Park. The subway was more than once at its limit, but mastered the onslaught without any problems. Two months after the World Cup and one week before the Oktoberfest, in mid-September 2006, the Pope visited Munich. MVG employed a total of 700 additional employees. Around 100 additional vehicles were on the road and completed 2,700 special trips.

On October 14, 2006, the U6 was extended from Garching-Hochbrück to Garching-Forschungsgelände.


After a long start and many hurdles to overcome, the new MVG Museum opened on October 27, 2007 with 5,000 m² of exhibition space in the historic building of the main Tram workshop on Ständlerstraße.


Since October 28, 2007, MVG has been driving the U3 to the two new underground stations "Oberwiesenfeld" and "Olympia-Einkaufszentrum" (with connection to the U1). These were equipped with a new control and information system. MVG started the long-term test of environmentally friendly bus drives. After a hybrid double-articulated bus was tested for a few days in March 2008, a hybrid articulated bus from Solaris on line 52 went into regular operation on 21 August 2008.


On 19 March 2009, the new Variobahn was presented. By 2011, a total of 14 new vehicles of this built by Stadler tram type were delivered and taken after a complex approval process in operation. As a result, space capacity grew by 15 per cent - in the face of rising numbers of passengers and planned new routes. The passenger service in case of failure was expanded. In the case of line breaks in the tram network, taxis for rail replacement services have now been used in addition to buses. After a year of probation and 170 missions, the taxi SEV - a cooperation with the taxi Munich eG - from 1 May 2010 became the rule.

Since April 2009, the new MVG zoom Internet service has recorded the daily operating status of all escalators and elevators in the underground stations. Their availability is particularly important for people with reduced mobility.


In December 2009, SWM / MVG completed the modernization of Munich Underground Station. Cost: 20 million euros. The attractive appearance aims at brightness, transparency and liveliness.


For the first time in over 10 years, a new line went into operation on December 12, 2009, the Tram 23. The challenging new line of Schwabing has now become the eleventh tram line in the MVG network, 3.1 km long, has 7 stops and two architectural highlights: the new terminus at the Münchner Freiheit and an 84 meter long suspension bridge.


In February 2010, the ADAC named Munich's public transport service "European champion" among 23 major and capitals. Munich was the only city in this ranking to receive the grade "very good".

The aging tram fleet has been modernized. On 17 May 2010, the first renewed train of the 1994-97 series R 2.2 was presented; until 2016, another 54 three-part model R 2.2 followed. The redesign of the trains was carried out at the Leipzig company Iftec. From the outside you can immediately see the blue paint with a silver trim: This train is retreaded. This impression the passenger has when entering the 15-year-old train: Bright, friendly colors, a new lighting concept, monitors for passenger information and last but not least a modified seating arrangement make the tramcars look much more modern. The changed layout is particularly striking: many places were rotated by 90 °, partitions on the doors are omitted. As a result, the car is much »tidier« and especially in the entry areas is more space available. Part of this is also the sliding sliding doors, which are not as expansive as the previous swing doors. Four seats accounted for by the new arrangement, including the two folding seats on the first. Twelve more standing room has the car after the conversion, so that the total capacity of the car despite the lack of four seats increases by as many as eight places. With the redesign, the car also got the floor covering of the Variobahn, which does not look as dirty as the bright floor of the first R2 car. There was also something under the floor covering: The previous wooden floor was replaced by a plastic floor. Ingress of moisture in the area of ​​the landing gear boxes added to the floor so that a renovation was inevitable. A lot has been done for the riders, but the tried and tested has been maintained: an air conditioning system ensures a cool head and a higher concentration on hot days, the closed cabin ensures more peace of mind in the driver's cab - it is necessary because of the air conditioning anyway.

When recommissioning the renewed R2 cars, as well as with the approval of the Variobahnen, the MVG executives were confronted with a new, previously unused problem: after a change of staff in the Technical Supervisory Authority, the bureaucratic requirements increased. Since then, expert reports have had to be commissioned in order to be able to provide theoretical proof of suitability and operational safety both for trams and metro vehicles. Since then, the licensing process has become incalculable and costs high costs.


The customer service in terms of timetable information has been expanded and differentiated: For iPhone users MVG offered from 16 June 2010 its own application - in the "App Store" there is the program "MVG Fahrinfo Munich" free to download. MVG reacted to the growing demand on 23 September 2010 with its supply offensive 2010-2020. It combines network expansion with sophisticated plans for compaction and further improvements in all three branches of operation. The order for 21 articulated trains (type C2) was the largest vehicle procurement in the history of the Munich underground with a volume of 185 million euros. The contract with Siemens also included two options for each 23 additional trains.

MVG celebrated its anniversary "115 years of electromobility for Munich" with a historic vehicle parade as part of "Being there for Munich".


The MVG took on 11 December 2010, the extension of the U3 to Moosach with two new stations in operation, it was so far the last extension of the Munich subway, which has since then a route length of 95 km and has 100 stations. SWM / MVG extended their hybrid bus test in mid-April 2011. The practical testing of the third hybrid bus and the comparison test of all three vehicles was a project of the "Model Region Electromobility Munich", for which SWM has the project management.


An interim report showed: The vehicles are practical, but not ready for production. In the Easter holidays 2011, MVG shut down a core of the subway for the first time.


Because of a switch renewal, there were no trains between Goetheplatz and Sendlinger Tor for nine days. The replacement buses covered 14,000 trips. On 2 July 2011, the mobile network in the Munich subway was complete.


Since May 2009, a total of 92 transmission and reception systems with almost 500 antennas have been installed on an 80 kilometer tunnel route.

The first milestones of the MVG service offensive were implemented at the timetable change. The new tram network and the 4.3 km long new line went to St. Emmeram with nine stops. On 10 December 2011, 20,000 passengers celebrated the opening of this visually and technically demanding tram line. The new route was run by the line 16, which was led by the Sendlinger-Tor-Platz over the former line route of the line 18 to the Effnerplatz and further on the new tracks to St. Emmeram. The line 18 took over instead of the line 17 whose line path from Isartor to Effnerplatz, while the line 17 was now derived instead of the line 27 from Müllerstraße to Schwanseestraße. The line 27 turns since then coming from Petuelring at Sendlinger-Tor-Platz.


Ironically, on the 14 new Variobahnen, the approval of which there had been long discussions with the Technical Inspectorate of the Government of Upper Bavaria, occurred a serial damage. In order to be able to provide enough trains, the P-trains from the 1960s, which were actually scheduled for retirement, were made fit again. To the timetable change on 10 December 2012 started the amplifier line 22: It opens up the new university location on the Lothstraße, where a new turning loop was built. At the same time went between Sendlinger-Tor Square and Scheidplatz line 28 as reinforcement of the lines 27 and 12 at the start.

The idea of ​​expanding capacity on much-used routes by using so-called bus trains - conventional solo buses with trailers - is not new. So it came after several test missions in November 2012 to an order of ten such teams at the provider consortium Solaris / Göppel. From 7 October 2013, the mission concept distributed these bus trains to those with the highest demand for different lines. The parking of the trailer outside rush hours was not planned. From Monday to Friday, the buses should be constantly traveling with companions, at the weekend, the trailer instead remained the whole day in the depot.

The timetable change on 13 December 2013 brought improvements to more than 20 lines and the new express bus line X30 to relieve the subway. After more than 100 years, the tram finally drove to the Pasinger train station: on 13 December 2013, tens of thousands of visitors celebrated the extension of the line with the transformation of the Pasinger center.

All 100 subway stations were now equipped with emergency posts. The SOS columns bundle the well-known safety elements and innovations such as the defibrillator. This made MVG a pioneer. In 2013, the last case handbook was also suspended: all subway platforms now have new train destination displays with an exact minute preview of the next trains. The first of 21 C2 trains was presented to the public on 21 February 2014. The look was well received: the C2 received the Red Dot Award, the German Design Award and the Universal Design Award. In the technical base of the subway, a new workshop was built. However, two years should pass before the C2 was allowed into the passenger service. It was faster at the Avenio: in 2012, the new tram was ordered, presented in late 2013 and only nine months later, all eight trains were type T in the passenger service.

In order to maintain the Munich subway efficient, a route extension is necessary: ​​The MVG presented in 2014 their plans for the U9 brace, which will allow more capacity in the city center and new connections between lines. But there is also need for remediation: saline water has damaged the reinforcements of several subway stations. After the main station u.a. also at the Ostbahnhof and at the Westfriedhof, which was only opened in 1998, extensive refurbishment work is necessary.

Flexible trams for the growing city: 22 more Avenio trams have been ordered, including double traction trains. The delivery took place from December 2017 to July 2018.

The rental bike system MVG Rad started in October 2015 with 1,200 wheels and initially 24 stations. Thanks to the best autumn weather, the number of users developed splendidly in the following weeks. The lending runs on the in-house app MVG more. The wheel developed for MVG even received the Universal Design Award in two categories - and MVG has taken another important step as a multimodal mobility service provider. This claim is particularly clear in the Münchner Freiheit: Here, users can find information on a mobility column about public transport, CarSharing vehicles and rental bikes, all of which can be used.

In February 2016, the ground-breaking ceremony for another new tram line took place: Tram Steinhausen is to run the extended line 25 from Max-Weber-Platz to the S-Bahn station Berg am Laim.

What lasts long ... the first C2 train was finally approved on 17 June 2016 for passenger service, initially on a section of the U6. The complete line followed on 4 November 2016. There is intensive work on the approval for additional routes as well as for all 21 new subways.


In the summer of 2016, City Council Yes said three important construction projects of the future. In the next few years, a bus depot in Moosach and a second Trambetriebshof next to the MVG Museum, also a second underground depot in Neuperlach. A massacre paralyzed Munich on July 22, 2016: Following police instructions, the entire public transport system was shut down for the first time until late at night.

The Supervisory Board retired Herbert König on 21 October 2016 after 24 years as head of transport. His successor Ingo Wortmann became SWM Managing Director Transport and Chairman of the MVG Management Board. On December 10, 2016, the new line 25 to the S-Bahn station Berg am Laim was officially inaugurated. After the opening speeches and the first trip on the track, MVG organized an open house at Depot 2 and used commuter trains between Max-Weber-Platz and Berg am Laim.

Home for the Munich  trams: the MVG-Museum opens at 27.10.2007.

Picture: Hannes Heigl

New generations of movement: Variobahn and hybrid articulated bus.

Picture: Daniel Schuhmann

The new Tramway line 23 at the new cable-stayed bridge over the  Mittlerer Ring in the north of Schwabing.

Foto: Frederik Buchleitner

Presentation of the redesigns of typ R 2.2-cars at 17.5.2010.

Picture: SWM/MVG

MVG-supervisor Herbert König opening the new route to Pasing railway station at 13.12.2013 

Foto: Daniel Schuhmann

Die neue Stadtwerkezentrale in München-Moosach.  münchen tram

A flower ramway painted for the  Bundesgartenschau 2005.

Picture: Andreas Paula

Die Blumen-Tram zur Bundesgartenschau 2005. münchen tram
Heimat für Münchens ÖPNV: Das MVG-Museum öffnet am 27.10.2007 münchen tram
Neue Fahrzeuggenerationen: Variobahn und Hybrid-Gelenkbus. tram münchen bus
Die neue Linie 23 auf der Tragseilbrücke über den Mittleren Ring. münchen tram
Vorstellung des Redesigns der R 2.2-Wagen am 17.5.2010 münchen tram
MVG-Chef Herbert König eröffnet am 13.12.2013 die neue Strecke zum Pasinger Bahnhof müchen tram

A tramway typ Avenio on the new tracks to Steinhausen station 10.12.2016.

Picture: Frederik Buchleitner

Ein Avenio auf der neuen Tram Steinhausen, 10.12.2016. münchen tram
Zum 1.1. 2017 verkehren 13 Trambahnlinien auf 82 km Streckenlänge. münchen tram

On January 1st 2017 13 lines operates 82 km of tramway network in Munich.

Drawing: Peter-Michael Hübner



Of course, there were also disappointments and setbacks. So the tram tangents decided in 1991 have not been realized until today and there are massive problems with the approval of new rail vehicles for some years. New challenges have been added to old challenges such as the uncertain future of public transport financing, ensuring the cost-effective financing of operations and a high level of customer satisfaction, as well as the modal split, competitive pressure and bureaucratic hurdles.

Especially because Munich is growing. The rising number of passengers - over 19 percent from 2006 to 2015 alone - has to be mastered: through the further implementation of the MVG service offensive 2010 - 2020 with two-minute intervals on some subway lines, with new vehicles and depots. In addition, there is an increasing need for renewal; The existing network will have to invest around 2.9 billion euros over the next ten years - a financial challenge, especially since there are no state subsidies for stock renewals.


Political guidelines such as those for achieving full accessibility, technological innovations or societal challenges such as the digitization of the working and living environment with the corresponding expectations of the customers are only marginally referred to here. On the other hand, there are important projects ahead of their political decision or concrete implementation, for which SWM / MVG have set the course: the tram tangents and the U9-Spange, the modernization of the subway station Sendlinger Tor, the medium-term conversion to electric mobility also in the bus sector, the commissioning of further bus spans and double traction trains at the tram as well as the continuation of the bus acceleration - just to name the most important.


The development of the city of Munich and the history of the Munich tramway are inextricably linked. The public transport belongs to Munich as the salt on the Brezn and the measure of the Oktoberfest. The people of Munich sometimes rant about buses and trains, but they like to ride "the public" and their white-and-blue tram - even after more than 140 years!

Translated by Google

Autor: Klaus Onnich FMTM eV., Leiter Fahrdienst Bus Ost und

stv. Betriebsleiter BO Kraft der Stadtwerke München GmbH

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