Energy Efficiency

Every step counts

The more people who leave their car at home, or forgo having one at all, and use public transport instead, the better the city’s energy balance will be. Only five percent of the city’s total energy consumption for mobility is attributable to Wiener Linien. This means that public transport makes up just one percent of the city’s carbon footprint, despite the fact that 39 percent of all journeys in Vienna are made by public transport.

Nevertheless, we are continually searching for new means to become even more efficient and sustainable. There is potential to make savings everywhere. After all, Wiener Linien needs around 700 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy every year to keep the city moving – comparable to the entire energy consumption of a town the size of St. Pölten.

  • Hot: A number of underground stations and service buildings are equipped with geothermal heat pumps – a pilot project that won the Transport state award in 2008. We also design underground stations with sustainability in mind, making additional use of the residual heat produced by computers in the technical rooms.
  • Clean: 17 vehicle-washing facilities ensure that buses, trams and underground trains shine. In order to reduce water consumption, all of these facilities have been equipped with their own treatment systems. 90 percent of the water used during a wash – nearly 3,000 litres or 10 to 12 full bathtubs – can therefore be recycled and used again.
  • Bright: The days of old fluorescent tubes are numbered. Today, energy-saving LED bulbs set the tone in vehicles and at stations. Around 9,600 fluorescent tubes on underground platforms have already been replaced and now consume half as much energy, while still providing the same amount of light. This alone has enabled energy savings of around 1.5 GWh a year, which corresponds to the electricity consumption of more than 430 Viennese households.
  • Aware: Conscientious driving helps save both fuel and energy – this applies just as much to public transport as it does to private cars. Raising awareness and teaching how to drive in an energy-efficient manner are therefore integral parts of driver training courses.
  • Quick: Energy/fuel displays are now fitted as standard in our new vehicles. On the underground, the speed of trains is also optimised by computer. If trains are too close to each other, or one is too early, the speed is automatically reduced. This saves energy and ensures that trains are more evenly spaced.
  • Modern: In contrast to buses, rail-bound vehicles have very long lifespans and remain in service for around 35 years. This makes it all the more important to modernise them during maintenance work. We also learn through research projects such as ‘EcoTram’ (in German) where we can fine-tune our vehicles.
Published: February 19, 2021