Vienna's population is forecast to reach two million inhabitants by 2030, and after much discussion and speculation the city council has committed to expanding the public transport network. The work is to be funded in part by recent price increases for public transport.
The construction of two U-Bahn extensions is expected to get under way in 2018, and open in 2023. The U2 line is to be split into two sections, with one becoming a new U5 line which will serve the north-west of the city.
U2 trains from Seestadt and Aspern in the east will be diverted at Rathaus and continue south to an interchange with the S-Bahn network at Matzleinsdorfer Platz.
The inner-city section of the U2 from Karlsplatz to Rathaus will become the first part of the new U5, which will initially continue to Frankhplatz, serving the university campus, and the old General Hospital (Altes AKH) in Spitalgasse.
The city council has started negotiations with the federal government for a further extension of the U5, running north to a new tram interchange hub at Arne Carlsson Park on Währinger Straße, where it would connect with routes 5, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41 and 42.
The metro would then turn west to meet the U6 at Michelbeuern-AKH and continue to Elterleinplatz in the Hernals district. This scheme would also see the U2 extended south from Matzleinsdorfer Platz to Gußriegelstraße and Wienerbergstraße.
The aim is that the busy U6 line will become less congested and travellers won’t need to change trains as often.
The construction of the U2 and U5 will go hand-in-hand with an expansion of the tram network. Vienna has the sixth largest tram network in the world.
Tram route O is to be extended from Praterstern in 2018 to serve urban development around the Nordwest freight terminal, which may also be served by extensions of routes 2 and 5.
Meanwhile, the city is negotiating with the ÖBB rail group for improvements to the S-Bahn railway network, seeking more frequent trains and additional stations.