Local transport in Frankfurt am Main

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Topographical representation of the rail-bound public transport in the Frankfurt city area

Local public transport in Frankfurt am Main consists of the inner-city routes of the Rhein-Main S-Bahn and the networks of the Frankfurt subway , the Frankfurt am Main tram , the city ​​and regional buses , supplemented by several regional trains .

The local public transport company traffiQ is responsible for public transport , provided that it is purely inner-city transport or special agreements exist. The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) is responsible for ordering and coordinating the regional modes of transport (i.e. regional trains and S-Bahn ). The public transport lines in the city area form a closed tariff area within the transport association, with the airport having a special status.

Transport companies for rail-bound local public transport in Frankfurt are Stadtwerke Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main (VGF), DB Regio and Hessische Landesbahn (HLB). HLB, Transdev Rhein-Main , In-der-City-Bus , Offenbacher Verkehrs-Betriebe (OVB) and the Autobus Sippel , which belongs to the Netinera Group, are active in city ​​and regional bus transport .

The basis of traffic planning is the overall urban traffic plan approved by the city council in 2005 .


The Frankfurt S-Bahn was opened in 1978 and runs on most of the suburban lines in the area around Frankfurt, although it usually has to share the tracks with freight , regional and long-distance traffic . In the city ​​center , the S-Bahn runs in the tunnel , which was opened in several stages from 1978 to 1992. At the main station , Hauptwache and Konstablerwache stations , the main line is connected to the underground .

Suburban railways

The Hessische Landesbahn GmbH (HLB) operates three S-Bahn-like suburban lines in the west of the city:

The depot with the main workshop and washing facility for these three lines is in Königstein. 20 type VT 2E railcars are used on all three lines, eight of which have been owned by FKE since 1987 and twelve more were added when the Taunusbahn took over. Since 2006, ten LINT-41 multiple units have also been on the routes.

Regional traffic

In the Rhein-Main transport association , numerous regional express and regional train lines operate , almost exclusively between the main station and destinations in the outskirts of the region , often beyond the network area.

Also regional bus lines run in Frankfurt. They have unique three or four-digit line numbers in the RMV area.


A bus from the
Büssing company

The first horse-drawn bus routes between Bockenheim and Hanauer Bahnhof , the forerunner of the Ostbahnhof on Zobelstraße , via Hauptwache and between Westendplatz and Offenbacher Bahnhof ( local train station ) were opened in 1863. A third line followed later between Hauptwache and Bornheim . However, with the construction of the horse and tram lines at the end of the 19th century , bus traffic was stopped again.

It was not until 1925 that a bus service with eight buses was set up again in Frankfurt. With the incorporation in 1928, bus operations were taken over by the previously independent town of Höchst .

In 1951 there was a new development. Express buses , which were initially referred to as the 61S or 66 , for example , ran from 1953 with special line numbers, which were also shown as red line numbers .

MAN ND 202 in test operation in Frankfurt -
Bornheim in 2015

On some lines several years were from 1967 to 1976 double-decker buses of the company Bussing used type prefect 26th In 1993 a test was carried out with a Neoplan N 4032/4 megashuttle in the fair car park feeder traffic and on line 30 between Hainer Weg and Bad Vilbel . In December 2015, a vehicle of the type MAN ND 202 preserved in a museum was used as a test by the local transport company traffiQ in Frankfurt am Main to determine the acceptance among passengers .

The first e-bus line went into operation in Frankfurt in December 2018. Line 75 connects the university locations Bockenheim and Campus Westend. The operating company has invested 1.9 million euros in the five e-buses from the Polish manufacturer Solaris and the charging station in the depot. 11 more electric buses are to be added by the end of 2020.

By the end of 2019, 3 fuel cell buses should be used as part of the H2Bus Rhein-Main project by the manufacturer Autosan in Sanok (Poland). The range should be 300 km with a 15 minute filling. The existing hydrogen filling station in the Höchst industrial park was intended to provide the necessary infrastructure. Wiesbaden and Mainz should also receive 4 of these fuel cell buses from mid-2019 as part of the 6-year project. The order was canceled in January 2020 because the manufacturer could not deliver. The city now wants to order 22 other hydrogen buses, which should be in use by the end of 2021.

night bus

In addition to regular bus lines operate at night on Saturday, Sunday or public holidays before 1:30 to 3:30 indicator night bus lines . There are a total of 26 lines. The 26 lines, 9 of which only serve the Frankfurt city area, go through the regions of the Rhine-Main area . The central junction is the Konstablerwache , where most lines start and end.

Since December 13, 2009, all inner-city night bus routes have been running daily, the night buses to the region on weekends and before public holidays. As part of this timetable change , the night bus service was also expanded; Hofheim am Taunus and Eppstein are now also served .

Express bus routes

The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund has given its regional bus routes in line traffic unique numbers. The prefix "X" means that the line runs supraregional and does not stop everywhere. This is intended to expand cross-connections between cities.


The history of the trolleybus operation in Frankfurt only lasted 15 years. From January 6, 1944 to January 8, 1945 and from November 1, 1948 to October 4, 1959, trolleybuses ran on line 60 from Heddernheim to the tram terminus in Praunheim Bridge. The reasons for the electrification of this line, which is important for rush hour traffic, were the lack of fuel during the war and the possibility of being able to use the power supply of the tram at both end stations.

The Offenbach am Main trolleybus operated in the neighboring town of Offenbach from 1951 to 1972 ; this consisted of three lines.


City tour line Ebbelwei-Express

Frankfurt has had a standard-gauge tram since 1872 . As was common at the time, it was initially operated as a horse-drawn tram . From 1884 one of the first electric trams in the world connected Sachsenhausen and Offenbach , and in 1888 the steam trams of the Frankfurter Waldbahn were added.

Today there are twelve tram lines in Frankfurt, including eight main lines, two reinforcement lines and the special Ebbelwei-Express lines . The special line " Lieschen " also existed until 2013 .



The public transport company Frankfurt GmbH operates one since 1968 subway -Netz of three routes that cross the city center. In the outskirts, the routes are divided, so that a total of nine lines can be distinguished. Two of the three routes run on their above-ground route sections as a light rail , one line can be described as an underground tram .

In the north of the city, the U-Bahn uses two former small railroad lines that extend to the suburbs of Bad Homburg and Oberursel . Three cities are involved in the subway network.


1712 licensed taxis also belong to the local public transport system in Frankfurt . This mode of transport is particularly popular during trade fairs. There are over 100 taxi stops in the city.


The SkyLine is an elevated railway at Frankfurt Airport that connects the two large terminals.


Regional Tangent West (RTW)

The planned western regional bypass is intended to connect the northern, western and southern suburbs of Frankfurt via Frankfurt-Höchst and the airport. All S-Bahn lines, the U1 underground line and the regional train station at the airport will be linked. The new Regional Tangente West (RTW) is to run from Bad Homburg vor der Höhe , Oberursel and the Nordwestzentrum to the center of Neu-Isenburg via Eschborn , Frankfurt-Höchst and Frankfurt Airport .

The West Regional Tangent is to operate as a mixed operation with two-system light rail vehicles on mostly existing railway and S-Bahn lines and on additional lines to be built. This makes their implementation - despite the large total length of the route - quite inexpensive. Its primary task is to strengthen the tangential traffic and thus save passengers from annoying and time-consuming detours through Frankfurt city center. The earliest possible start of operations is 2023.

Regional tangent east

In the long term, the West regional bypass will also be followed by a East regional bypass. This is to connect Neu-Isenburg with Bad Vilbel via Offenbach, Frankfurt-Fechenheim and Frankfurt-Bergen-Enkheim . Above all, the infrastructure of the Frankfurt tram should also be used. Another variant, presented in 2016, provides for a tour from Bad Vilbel via Niederdorfelden , Maintal , Offenbach am Main , Frankfurt Südbahnhof and Frankfurt Airport (Terminal 3) to Mörfelden-Walldorf .

North Main Line to Hanau


It is planned to build a new S-Bahn line between Frankfurt and Hanau parallel to the Frankfurt Süd – Aschaffenburg railway in the north of the Main . The S-Bahn is to replace today's regional traffic on the section. For this purpose, the new branch of the stump of the city ​​tunnel that has already been created must be structurally connected to the preliminary work already made in the area of ​​the Frankfurt Ostbahnhof during the construction of the subway, and a tunnel ramp will also be built. The possibility of a plan-free threading in and out behind Ostendstrasse was already created when the route was built at the time.

On the part of the passenger associations, there were strong concerns about the north Main S-Bahn line, as it passes the development of the cities of Maintal and Hanau at a great distance and thus the connection would not be much more attractive than the previous regional transport, despite its high costs of almost 300 million euros.

The eligibility of the North Main S-Bahn could still be proven in a cost-benefit analysis. Financing negotiations are currently (2008) ongoing, and the neighboring communities are still preparing measures to remove level crossings.

Dual system

For this, the passenger federations have developed a supposedly cheaper and better disclosive alternative: a dual-system light rail to Karlsruhe model could be the existing tram line to share in Frankfurt and go at Ostbahnhof to the regional railway line. On the one hand, a rapid transit system via Hanau to Aschaffenburg in Bavaria or via Bruchköbel and Nidderau to Friedberg could be implemented cost-effectively, which could be better adapted to actual needs, and on the other hand, inner-city development in Maintal and Hanau would also be possible. In the opinion of the proponents, this RegioTram network would have a significantly larger development at roughly the same cost as the S-Bahn. However, a cost-benefit analysis of a different variant of the U6 came to a different result, so that the two-system solution is currently no longer being pursued in the official plans.

From April to December 2005 there was a test run of a dual-system railway model with light rail vehicles borrowed from Karlsruhe . The Hanauer streetcar GmbH (HSB) operating under the name Main Line a trial run between Hanau and Rüsselsheim am Main . However, there was no system change in regular operation.


Another concept provides for the extension of the U6 from Fechenheim to Hanau as a dual-system tram based on the Karlsruhe model - this would finally resolve a decades-long dispute about an S-Bahn to Hanau or an underground to Fechenheim, because the federal government only wants one of the two projects finance. While the surrounding area was more interested in the S-Bahn, Frankfurt first wanted to put the subway to Fechenheim or Hanau into operation with the development of Hanauer Landstrasse - the consequence of the dispute is that neither of the two projects has yet been implemented.

The disadvantage here, however, is that the development of Hanau and Maintal is not possible differently than with the S-Bahn, so that the U6 subway cannot play out its advantages in terms of urban railways , since an integration of elevated platforms and consistently separate railway bodies on the small ones Road cross-sections in Hanau and Maintal would fail. Furthermore, due to the resulting travel times, only a line system with its own branch to serve Maintal would make sense, which would, however, require long tunnel stretches for good development.

Transition to long-distance transport


Buses from two different operators: VGF (left) in subaru-vista-blue and RKH (right) in red / white

Until 1972, the buses and trams in Frankfurt were painted in ivory (RAL 1014). Only the light rail cars made an exception with their red color scheme with a white belly band . With the delivery of new trams and buses in 1972, the color scheme pure orange (RAL 2004) / light ivory (RAL 1015) / beige gray (RAL 7006) was introduced. When the first series of low-floor buses was delivered to the then Stadtwerke Frankfurt in 1990, the color Subaru-vista-blue (not a RAL color) was selected for their turquoise-blue color scheme . This color should initially be reserved for new vehicles. Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main mbH, which was spun off from the municipal utilities, later adopted the color as its corporate color and also had older vehicles repainted. Private companies active in Frankfurt's local transport continued to use their corporate colors for the time being. The local public transport company traffiQ developed a design specification in white and red. This decision was justified with the conspicuousness of the colors and the reference to the city colors of the city of Frankfurt. This became obsolete by the resolution of the city council § 7594 of July 15, 2004, according to which a uniform color scheme for the Frankfurt public transport in Subaru-vista-blue was determined.


The city of Frankfurt is in the network area of ​​the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) (tariff zone 5000), there is an external tariff zone for the airport (zone 5090). The HessenTicket , a joint offer of the RMV and the North Hessian Transport Association (NVV), is valid in all local transport, the Quer-Durch-Land-Ticket in regional rail transport (S-Bahn, Regionalbahn (RB) and Regionalexpress (RE)).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. project Tram Rider Frankfurt Archive Foundation (FAG): The Frankfurt biplane. Tramrider, 2013, accessed December 27, 2015 .
  2. project Tram Rider Frankfurt Archive Foundation (FAG): The Neoplan N 4032 Megashuttle. Tramrider, 2013, accessed December 27, 2015 .
  3. http://www.fnp.de/lokales/frankfurt/Lieschen-sagt-leise-Adieu;art675,791765 ( Memento of the original from April 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked . Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 27, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fnp.de
  4. As of February 2007
  5. fraffiQ on 28 November 2008: founded RTW Planungsgesellschaft
  6. Regionaltangente-West-2023-shall-die-first-Bahn-roles accessed March 29, 2017 on fnp.de.
  7. New railway line for the east . In: Frankfurter Neue Presse , July 23, 2016. Accessed July 23, 2016.