Using Public Transit in Munich

This is one of the most amazing things about this town. It’s even more impressive than the transit system in Berlin. This system integrates U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (underground and above-ground rail), Streetcar (“Tram”), and Buses to get you virtually anywhere. It costs about 6.4 Euros a day if you pay as you go (daily), or about 2 Euros a day if you buy a monthly pass. One ticket fits all, so no need to buy separate tickets for the various systems.

Amazingly, no one even bothers to show their tickets. its a hefty fee if you are caught without a ticket $60 euros) according to the signs on the subway. (“Swartzfahren”).

However, the system gets really complicated because the information desk will simply say to take U-3 to a the main station and then Tram (e.g., Tram 21) line to the destination. However, finding out where the starting point for the various tram lines can be frustrating because there are several scattered around the main train station – with no map of where they are physically. They can be several blocks apart.

Once you figure out how the system is rigged, you can get about anywhere in the city in roughly 20 minutes. And, you can ride it all day long at no extra cost. Caught the wrong subway? NO PROBLEM, just get off at the next stop and catch the next one back.

The “S-Bahn” or “surface train”, is found both underground and on the top. It is run by the main Germain railway company (“Deutsche Bahn”), while the other local transit systems (U-Bahn, Tram, and Bus) are part of the local organization MVG – sort of like the MTA in Boston or LA). S-Bahn moves fast (~50mph) and is modern compared to some of the older U-Bahn and Tram trains.
Subway line number (U1), destination, and estimated number of minutes – in this case about 10 min. between subways arrivals.
Escalators provide easy access to subways at different levels, about 50 feet vertically apart.
U-Bahn (subway) goes about 50 mph underground
Status when waiting for the Tram, Bus, or Subway tells estimated arrival time. Apparently computers track each of the trains and buses in the system and are able to tell you how much time you have before it arrives. In this case, there are four different buses that will be arriving.
Streetcar tracks … most everywhere you look it’s another Tram-line
This is the “Tram”, a streetcar, which seems to have an inter-arrival time of about 5 minutes and goes about 35 mph. These are found *everywhere* and are one of the most convenient ways to get around because you don’t have to go down 100 feet or so in the ground to get there. If you get the wrong one, just get off at the the next stop and try going the other way!
Where you don’t find Trams and subways, you find the regular buses, which go about every 15 minutes. They have the designation of “H” for a bus stop (Halt).

Author: daveretz

Travels around, works hard, enjoys life, likes Pinot Noir.

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