VBZ planning major shake up of the tram network in Zurich, officials confirm
In a statement, the Transport Authority for Zurich (VBZ) revealed its plans to significantly reform and expand the tram network in the largest city in Switzerland. Authorities said the scheme - which will see a new tram line built and several trams re-routed - is designed to better serve the needs of locals.
VBZ to revamp Zurich tram network in December 2025
From the timetable change in December 2025, a large number of changes will be coming to Zurich and its public transport network, VBZ confirmed. Despite having to cut services this year due to the ongoing shortage of drivers and other workers, they said that the growing demand for services necessitated a rethink as to how trams in the city are run.
Speaking to 20 Minuten, city councillor Michael Baumer explained that the new plan will better serve destinations on the eastern side of Lake Zurich and make connections within the city itself faster. He noted that with the hospital and children's care facility in Balgrist set to expand, and more people expected to move into the nearby Lengg district, more connections were needed in the area.
How will tram services in Zurich change?
Here are the changes to the tram network in Zurich from 2025 / 26:
- Instead of running to Tiefenbrunnen, Tram Line 2 will change at Bellevue to run along what is Line 8 today, terminating at Klusplatz.
- Instead of running to Tiefenbrunnen, Line 4 will follow the route of what is currently Line 11, ending at Rehalp.
- During rush hour, Line 5 will run from Albisgütli through Bellevue to Rehalp instead of to Fluntern. During off-peak times the line will run between Laubegg and Stadelhofen and will not run at all during off-peak hours and Sunday.
- Line 8 will replace Line 5, running from Hardturm via Enge to Kirche Fluntern. On Sundays, it will continue to run to the Zoo.
- Line 11 will replace lines 2 and 4, running from Auzelg to Tiefenbrunnen via Bellevue.
- Line 15 will also replace lines 2 and 4, running from Bucheggplatz to Tiefenbrunnen.
- During rush hour, Line 17 will replace Line 8 between Stauffacher and Paradeplatz. At other times the tram will run between Werdhölzli and Bahnhofplatz.
The plans will now be submitted to ZVV - the cantonal transport association - with the full changes set to be confirmed in March 2024.
In a statement, VBZ said that their plans better reflect the needs of travellers, with officials claiming that the changes will mean that you should be able to get from Zurich S-Bahn stations to almost anywhere in the city without having to change trams. They claimed that along with some minor tweaks, the vast majority of passengers will also have faster connections to and from Zurich.
New tram lines commissioned for Altstetten, Affoltern and Oerlikon
In terms of new construction, VBZ confirmed that it would be submitting plans to build new tram lines in the fast-growing Altstetten and Oerlikon districts. These plans should be published in the first quarter of 2024.
Finally, in what will be good news for the people of Affoltern, they also said that they would be moving ahead with plans for a new tram line that will run from RadioStudio in the south of Oerlikon to Holzerhund in Zurich Affoltern. The tram will stop at Wehntalerstrasse via Neuaffoltern and Zehntenhausplatz on its way to Holzerhund.
Authorities confirmed that they would be submitting the proposal to the Federal Office for Transport. Construction work on the project is expected to start in 2026, with the new tram set to be up and running by the end of the decade. For more information about the changes, and to see an interactive map of what the new lines will look like, check out the official website.
Thumb image credit: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com