In 2013, Hamburg’s large public transport company Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HHA) transported more passengers than in the previous year. According to HHA, 436 million passengers travelled on the companies underground trains and buses, and accounted for a 1.5 per cent plus in passenger figures. Despite the associated financial burdens, last year’s financial result could be further improved. HHA announced to further expand its services.
Public transport increasingly in demand
At the presentation of HHA’s annual results, Frank Horch, chairman of HHA’s supervisory board and Hamburg Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport, emphasised: “Rising passenger figures are the best proof of HHA’s customer-friendly services. The increased use of buses and trains supports the city’s economic and environmental goals. For this reason, we will extend services. The optimisation of the bus system and the expansion of the underground network are core elements to make Hamburg a liveable and mobility-friendly city also tomorrow.”
In the past ten years, HHA successfully increased passenger figures by 18 per cent or 66 million passengers. Each working day, 1.2 million people travel on HHA’s underground lines and buses. Günter Elste, CEO of HHA, said: “The trend towards public transport is clear. At the beginning of the last decade, passenger figures hardly increased. This is completely different today.”
Increasing economic efficiency
In the past years, HHA significantly expanded its transport services in both areas of operation. Despite not cost-covering passenger tariffs in public transport, HAA’s also further improved its financial result. The loss to be compensated by the Free and Hanseatic City was reduced to 53,5 million euro (2012: 53.7 million euro). The cost recovery quota thus rose to 90.3 per cent.
Increasing the share of innovative propulsion systems
In 2014, HHA will continue to expand its range of innovative propulsion systems in operation. Its current fleet of 38 buses will be increased in the current year to 70vehicles. Next to additional diesel-electric hybrid buses and zero-emission fuel cell busses, the company announced to introduce its first plug-in buses with battery technology by the end of the year. Günter Elste: “From 2020 onwards, we only want to buy zero-emission buses. Until then, the vehicles and the infrastructure still need to go through many stages of development. We are very happy that so many manufacturers choose our enterprise and the city of Hamburg as development partners.” him
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