Frequently Asked Questions
I am confused with the way a single ticket works. This seems to be very different from the UK/US.
Yes. The single ticket is valid for one ride from point A to point B within the Vienna city boundaries. It's basically a flat fee. You pay the same whether you travel from the southernmost point of the network at Rodaun to the northernmost at Stammersdorf, or whether you just travel three stops on the metro from Volkstheater to Stubentor.
You can also change as often as you have to, using all means of public transport (train, metro, tram, bus), no matter by which company they are operated, with the sole exception of the airport buses and the CAT train.
You are, however, not allowed to interrupt your journey, take a circular route or go back to your point of departure.
You will find that the single ticket is a very expensive option to travel, so you might want to check out the other tickets.
If all of Vienna has a flat fee, do I have to worry about ticket validity at all if I stay in the city?
No, unless you take the regular train from the airport to the city or vice versa. In that case you have to buy an additional ticket.
This does not apply to the airport bus or the CAT train, as they have different (more expensive) fares anyway.
Nobody wants to see my ticket. Is that normal?
Yes. I find that especially British and American tourists are amazed at the ease with which they can get on an U-Bahn platform, tram or bus without showing their ticket. Actually, you shouldn't even try to show it to the bus or tram driver. You'd just get a strange look because the driver couldn't care less if you have a ticket or not.
The only people to whom you have to show the tickets are those who demand to see it. Basically, this would be the train guard on the S-Bahn, and uniformed or plain clothes ticket inspectors on the U-Bahn, tramways and buses. It is purely a matter of luck how many of these you will encounter during your stay. I often hear people say that they were checked just on the day when they had left their travel pass at home; I found that while I was using monthly travel passes, I got checked about once a month; now that I have an annual pass, I seem to be checked about once a year. All of this suggests that the inspectors are psychics.
Is fare dodging possible/advisable?
It is certainly possible. However, you should be aware that uniformed and plain clothes ticket inspectors are patrolling all lines at all times. If you are caught without a valid ticket, you have to pay a €100 penalty fare. I daresay there are better ways of spending this amount of money — even a monthly travel pass costs about half as much.
Why is there no line U5?
I wrote an entire page to answer this question.
What's that foul smell on the U1 platform at Stephansplatz?
There are a few urban legends about this, but the real reason is quite prosaic: it's caused by an organic substance they injected into the ground when they built the station so that the ground above it wouldn't subside and cause damage to the cathedral. Unfortunately, this substance is now undergoing some kind of chemical reaction in the ground, which causes the foul smell if the temperature rises above 20°C.
What is the point of those strange displays that were mounted in the stations of line U6, apparently for the drivers?
These displays contain timetable information for the driver. The first number is the train number, the second number indicates the recommended speed and the third number the deviation from the schedule in 10-second steps ("+" means the train is late, "-" means it is ahead of schedule). Thus, "611 60 +08" indicates that train number 611 should proceed at 60 kph because it is 80 seconds late.
Do you have data on the longest escalator, the deepest tunnel, etc.?
Yes. Click here.
Are there any plans to extend the network? When will these extensions open?
Yes, an extension of line U1 from Reumannplatz to Oberlaa is scheduled to open in September 2017.