Urban Mobility

Just three minutes from Jungfernstieg to the Elbe

Public urban transport provides all-round, efficient services connecting HafenCity. The new underground line U4 is the main transport artery, backed up by buses, rental bikes and ferries

Photo shows a bus stop in HafenCity

Several bus lines are already serving HafenCity, adapting their routes to the successive stages of development in the new district (© Julia Sippel) Start slideshow

The public transport system plays a key role in connecting the new part of town with the rest of the city. It guarantees the ecological, economic and socially sustainable integration of the new district: without public transport, future traffic volume of more than 100,000 users a day could not be managed efficiently.

The central public transport artery is the U4 line, which is taking shape underground. From November 28 2012, it will provide direct connections to the three most important passenger hubs in the Hamburg rapid transit network: Jungfernstieg, Central Station and Berliner Tor. Although the new timetable officially takes effect from December 9, special trips will be possible before that date. The journey from Jungfernstieg to the Überseequartier stop will then take just three minutes. Initially the U4 will end here, at the interface between the already very animated western and central areas of HafenCity. But next year, when HafenCity University is opened, a station of the same name in central HafenCity will go into service. By 2017/18 a third station is to be built at Elbbrücken in eastern HafenCity.
Every day, around 35,000 people are expected to travel the U4 by the time HafenCity is fully developed: that is the equivalent of around 26,000 fewer car journeys per day. At the end of 2012, 450 businesses will already be benefiting from the new subway, together with 1,800 residents and thousands of visitors every day.
The U4 supplements the U1 subway line immediately to the north of HafenCity (Messberg station) and the U3 (Baumwall station, near the Elbphilharmonie). Two bus lines will continue to serve HafenCity, providing additional connections to Hamburg public transport hubs. (Services of the 3, 4 and 6 bus lines will continue unchanged until the timetable changes on December 9.) As of December 9, the number 6 bus line will cover the route via Am Sandtorkai in the direction of western HafenCity and the Speicherstadt. Coming from Altona, the new 111 bus line crosses the new city district via Baumwall (U3 station) to Shanghaiallee. The number 6 service has been running ecological hydrogen-powered buses on the route since 2004 and is expanding constantly, helping Hamburg to develop the world’s most efficient pollution-free traffic infrastructure. Hochbahn, the operator, will be putting another 20 fuel-cell buses into service between 2010 and 2013 alone. They can refuel at the new hydrogen filling station near Oberbaumbrücke bridge, the central gateway to HafenCity on Ericusspitze.

Other modes of transport supplement rapid transit and bus services: on the water, the HADAG 72 ferry line will be calling at the new Elbphilharmonie jetty from December 9, 2012. The route starts at Landungsbrücken, also stopping at Arningstrasse station on the opposite bank of the Elbe. Two other ferry stops are planned – at HafenCity University and Elbbrücken. There are also several launch landing stages, e.g. in Magdeburger Hafen and Baakenhafen.

The rent-a-bike system run successfully by Deutsche Bahn in several cities has been available in Hamburg since summer 2009. In future HafenCity will have four rental depots for the red bicycles; since fall 2010 the first three have been installed by the Unilever building on Strandkai, and on Am Kaiserkai and Osakaallee (opposite the 25hours Hotel HafenCity) on the street.

It is clear that HafenCity already has a well-developed public transport network that will continue to grow in tandem the new district, particularly to the east and south. Planning to extend the traffic infrastructure beyond the boundaries of the district is already well under way. The U4 underground line will only be temporarily terminating at the HafenCity University stop; another U4 station is to be built north of Elbbrücken. In the medium term this could also intersect with the rapid transit (S-Bahn) rail line.