Hamburg Public Transit; Hochbahn and HVV

The transit company in Hamburg is called the Hochbahn, but like everywhere else I have been, the tickets and fares are integrated among all the modes  and  with all the other public transit companies in the metropolitan area.  So it does not matter which modes or service you actually ride, it only matters how far you are go.  There are fare zones, and the metro fares for instance, are distance based like BART, but the single ticket will also get you onto the local bus or ferry  for that trip.

The coordination is done by Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV) which translates into English as the Hamburg Transport Association, which has had Integrated Tickets since 1965: “That’s when we became the world’s very first integrated public transport association. One ticket, one timetable: use any HVV public transport service you like.”

The total public transport network consists of buses in the many (dozens?) of communities in three states  that belong to HVV; the Schnellbahn rapid transit rail services (U-bahn, S-bahn und A-Bahn); the  Regional Rail (R-Bahn), and the five ferries around the  Hamburg harbour and on the River Elbe.  Note that the City of Hamburg is also a state- one  of the 16 states in Germany. So HVV includes the entire city- state of Hamburg plus neighboring communities from two adjacent states.

People/ Customer friendly features
• On weekends the rapid transit U-Bahn and S-Bahn rail services run every 20 minutes all through the night within Hamburg.
• 7 days a week there are night buses that run after the rapid transit shuts down
• After 7 PM on some bus lines, specially marked buses, drivers can stop in between official stops to discharge passengers
• Real time “next bus” and “next three buses”
• Dogs allowed oboard,  on a leash, free
• Bikes allowed free with certain time restrictions which vary  depending on bus, u- bahn or s-bahn
• Bikes allowed at all times on regional trains for a Euro 3.50 a day fee
• Bikes allowed at all times for free on 4 of 5 ferries
• Tickets available from machine as well as Bus drivers who sell single tickets and day tickets, (but not the weekly /monthly /annual passes)
• After 9 am, discounted fare for all
• Any time, up to three kids under age 14 travel free with one adult
• After 9 am:  Group ticket  for 5 people of any age
• Special pass prices for children /seniors and apprentice/college students

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