New plans would see Zurich public transport transformed by 2050
Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich (VBZ), the company that operates Zurich’s public transport, has announced a new expansion plan for the next 30 years.
Two new railway lines proposed for Zurich suburbs
Titled “Future Vision ÖV 2050”, the project will see a large transformation in how people in the city of Zurich get around. The plan was concluded by the VBZ and will see two new ring railway systems built to serve Switzerland’s largest city.
The new rail lines are designed to make sure that the city centre does not get overwhelmed by the amount of traffic. Currently, for most suburban connections across the city, travellers have had to go into the centre of Zurich and change bus, tram or train through Zurich's Main station or Zurich Stadelhofen.
The new plan will link the suburban centres of Zurich in a ring railway around the city, avoiding the main station entirely. This will connect the large neighbourhoods of Oerlikon, Altstetten and Stadelhofen to each other in a completely new train line. A new line is also being proposed to run underneath the city, river and lake, from Stadelhofen to the opposite bank at Enge.
Alongside a large outer railway, the plans include a ringway for trams that connect the outer areas of the city with each other. This will mainly benefit students, as the tram would connect the two universities and other higher education facilities, with the mainly residential areas around them, leading to faster access.
Quick trams proposed as a way to reduce car traffic in Zurich
Included with the new rail and tramways are plans for a schnelltram, or quick tram service. These new connections would only stop at select stations on existing routes in order to encourage more commuters to use public transport instead of driving.
They also hope that improvements to current tramlines will allow them to travel at higher speeds to reduce journey times. The current set of plans will be submitted to the local council (Gemeinde) to determine cost and the plans’ practicality. It is expected that once plans have been agreed, the council will take the project to a public referendum for approval.