Something is going on in Germany. New districts in new towns are getting vital upgrades like new routes, new vehicles and an expanded range of remarkable tram service. Potsdam’s new local transport plan lists are ambitious goals that will benefit anyone living in it.

After more than 20 years, trams are supposed to run again at night again. No cities should ever use bus services for night routes as it seems like a cheaper solution. With railway tracks that are silent and tram-trains that aren’t too noisy. Having them going by night is not a problem at all.

So, Let the trams also run all the night in your town!

Potsdam plans to improve a lot in the next few years

Potsdam is a small city with 150.000 that sits just beneath the giant Berlin town in Germany. It is a town with connections to Berlin through S Bahn line S7 even. The town which was part of Eastern Germany before wants to improve its public transport in the next few years.

To this end, the expansion of new routes should be checked, the vehicle fleet modernized and the range expanded. In future, the trams of line 96 will pass through at night on weekends, and more buses will drive in the south of Babelsberg, in Bornstedt and to Park Sanssouci station. The ferry from Hermannswerder to Potsdam-West is also said to be in operation for longer. All this emerges from the draft for the new local transport plan, which was presented on Thursday by Potsdam’s City Development Director Bernd Rubelt (independent).

It will be a while before Potsdam night owls can take the tram home from concerts and parties. It could be ready in a year or two.

“One goal could be the 2021 timetable change,” said Head of Traffic Development, Norman Niehoff.

Line 96 from Kirchsteigfeld to the Jungfernsee campus is scheduled to run every 30 minutes on the weekend nights and to connect to the S-Bahn at the main train station. Passengers from the southeast of Potsdam, in particular, would be able to save time in this way. For example, the night bus N17 from Johannes-Kepler-Platz to Potsdamer Hauptbahnhof has taken 30 minutes so far, and the tram can get there in 19 minutes.

Every five years, the local transport plan develops a new framework for local public transport. Work on the current plan already started last year. It runs until 2023. The plan will be presented to city officials at their meeting in early March. On this basis, the transport company (ViP) can, for example, start tenders, design the timetable and calculate the financial requirements. On the other hand, details of lines and measures are not part of the plan. This has also been preceded by several town meetings, including in the north-west of Potsdam or to speed up bus traffic. Resolutions of the city council have also been incorporated.

Car traffic should not increase in Potsdam

The declared goal of Potsdam in Germany is that car traffic should not continue to increase despite the increase in population. As a result, more Potsdam residents have to change from car to tram, bus or bicycle or walk. So, the further expansion of local public transport should contribute to this. But then all of the bus routes in the town should be changed and the tram in the city getting a much bigger improvement. Not only Line 96 should be made but also other parts of the town should be reached by the most environmentally friendly way of travel.

Also, all of the streets where the trams are going in Potsdam should be made tram only or tram with bus lanes only. This way the city makes sure that trams can reach their goals without getting stuck in the traffic. The demanding climate targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions should also be achieved in this way. It is not something that needs to be said but it needs to be made to reality.

In addition to tram night traffic, there are other measures that should be tackled at short notice: in particular, the south of Babelsberg and the garden city of Bornstedt should be connected to the tram network of Potsdam. In addition, a direct light rail alike connection should be planned for the leisure time meeting point. Buses should be much less important.

The new tram connections from Bornstedt and Bornim towards Park Sanssouci station should also be built. There are mentions about a bus route here. But why even consider a new bus route in 2020? Look at Karlsruhe which is a remarkable town. Potsdam could be as good! Rubelt also mentions that people should also expect the connections to the city center to be better connected to this station by tram and not a bus.

All tram sections should get rid of the cars in Potsdam

In addition, a bus lane in Potsdamer Straße should have tram tracks in them is to be checked so that the buses do not get stuck in traffic jams.

Maybe reduce a lane in each direction to fit the tram in the middle there?

19 new low-floor trams are to be bought

By 2023, Potsdam wants to push ahead with the modernization of the transport company’s vehicle fleet.

As reported, the ViP had launched a market survey in January for the purchase of a total of 19 new low-floor trams from 2024 with a unit price of around four million euros.

“There were many interested parties,” said Rubelt.

The purchase should be put out to tender in the first half of 2020. The money for this is also provided in the city’s medium-term financial planning, said Rubelt.

The new trams are also to replace the non-barrier-free Tatra trams by 2025. In order to achieve Potsdam’s climate targets, the bus fleet needs to be converted to environmentally friendly drives in the long term and be tram hubs supporters. For this purpose, a feasibility study should analyze different drive technologies.

All buses in Potsdam should move out of the city center

This could have become a nice tram only street with pedestrians
  • All trams should reach the main train station
  • Light Rails should connect the nearby cities
  • Car traffic should be reduced to a minimum in the city center

The buses in Potsdam should be reduced to a minimum with the city center of Potsdam should give way for trams and bikers while the cars and buses should be put in use outside. The trams can be much longer and they will be way more effective when they get smarter routes that never share the traffic with the cars. No trams should get stuck in traffic. Because they function best on streets and avenues where they don’t share the traffic with cars.

Also in the longer-term. Potsdam should evolve by adding tram-trains or light rail such as the system in Kassel and Den Haag. This light rail route could connect with Brandenburg and Magdeburg in the west. This would for sure increase the interest to invest in the region which would give a lot more jobs and a much more positive future for the region.

The focus on improving the tram system in Potsdam is great. But for the effect to turn really positive. Then our tips for Potsdam should be implemented instead of thinking about upgrading bus lines in the city. Also, buses are the worst together with trucks to spill asphalt dust into the air in wintertime when it is freezing temperatures outside. Trams will reduce this air pollution and save thousands of people having allergies against dust or even asthma.

Care for your citizens Potsdam politicians. Think about the tram. Revolutionize it in your town. You won’t regret that.

Source: Potsdamer Nachrichten