VHB – Verkehrsverbund Hegau Bodensee – Traffic-tariff union Hegau Bodensee
Region: District (Landkreis) Konstanz, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
Center: Konstanz (83,500 inhabitants), Germany
Major cities: Singen (45,000), Radolfzell (30,000), Stockach (16,000), Engen (10,000)
Area: 818 km2
Population density: approx 337 inhabitants per square km
Transport operators: 9
Number of passengers: 16 million annually
Stops: 24 waiting stops / train stations
Passenger km: 215 million, of which 99 million per train and per bus 116 million
District Konstanz is located in the south of Germany, on the shores of Lake Constance. Area contains a number of economic and tourist attractions. The economy consists of a series of mostly small and medium-sized businesses, as well as some major companies engaged in the development of high technology. In Sigen you can find the headquarters of the world-renowned food giant Maggi.
The region is also intensely tourism orientated, and tourism is in general very developed, including the northern part of the lake. In addition to the numerous hotels, region offers a large number of outside activities for tourists. One of the main pillars of tourism is an excellent public transport system that quickly and efficiently transports the tourists to a number of attractive destinations in the district.
Public transport is based on the railways. The main railway line runs from Konstanz via Radolfzell to Singen and Engen. Trains mostly operate with departures of every half an hour. Local train carrier is the German subsidiary of the Swiss Federal Railways SBB-CFF-FFS. Dozen of stops along the tracks are also the stops of the local bus lines. Regional trains are managing the section long 46km from Engen to Konstanz, with all the stops, within 48 minutes. To addition, every two hours there a re operating IRE (InterRegioExpress) trains of German Rail DB. The railway is electrified, doubletrack and allows a top speed of 140 km/h.
Another railway line is diesel based and its linking Radolfzell and Stockach, 17 kilometers long. Rail diesel sets HZL (Hohenzollerische Landesbahn) are operating there and most of the day departures are every half an hour.
Singen and Konstanz have a large number of regional lines and IC trains that connect them with many large cities in Germany and Switzerland.
The whole area of tariff union applies a single transport ticket, which can be easily purchased at all stops and stations. It is interesting to note that a number of ferries on lake Boden participate in the tariff community.
The whole system is an excellent example of how the region with a small population can have a very efficient public transport system and high mobility of the population and tourists.