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A permanent part of the city

Posted: 11 November 2008 | Martin Baltes, Managing Director, Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe und Stubaitalbahn GmbH (IVB) | No comments yet

The Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe transport company bases its philosophy on innovation, sustainability and service.

27 March 2008 represented a milestone in the history of the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe und Stubaitalbahn GmbH (IVB) tram system and public transport in greater Innsbruck in general, with the first of a total of 32 Flexity Outlook tram vehicles officially commencing operation. The remaining trams will be supplied by Bombardier/Elin by the coming year.

The Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe transport company bases its philosophy on innovation, sustainability and service.27 March 2008 represented a milestone in the history of the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe und Stubaitalbahn GmbH (IVB) tram system and public transport in greater Innsbruck in general, with the first of a total of 32 Flexity Outlook tram vehicles officially commencing operation. The remaining trams will be supplied by Bombardier/Elin by the coming year.

The Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe transport company bases its philosophy on innovation, sustainability and service.

27 March 2008 represented a milestone in the history of the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe und Stubaitalbahn GmbH (IVB) tram system and public transport in greater Innsbruck in general, with the first of a total of 32 Flexity Outlook tram vehicles officially commencing operation. The remaining trams will be supplied by Bombardier/Elin by the coming year.

The decision by the state of Tyrol and the city of Innsbruck, together with the IVB, to replace the old Innsbruck tram carriages with modern and customer-friendly vehicles is paving the way for a strong future in public transport in central Tyrol.

Thanks to the new tram system, the IVB today presents itself as an innovative and service-oriented transport company with an average of 47.5 million passengers each year. This development is also reflected in ever increasing numbers of passengers and is the result of a radical re-structuring of the company at the end of the 90s.

Restructuring

Before founding the sister company of Innbus in 1999 and the associated redevelopment measures, the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe employed a high number of workers and suffered from inflated personnel costs compared to other private transport companies. New legal conditions aiming to open up the market meant that the IVB could not guarantee competitiveness or long-term job security.

Two additional strategic considerations were also crucial to the founding of Innbus. On the one hand, the IVB needed to remain competitive and market-oriented without being privatised. On the other hand, customer-focused ÖPNV public transport services needed to be guaranteed as well as creating competitive structures in line with the law and the conditions of the free market, under the jurisdiction of the city of Innsbruck.

Thanks to this re-structuring strategy, the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe has implemented a modernisation and transformation process over the last nine years to create a modern, customer-friendly and financially sustainable service provider.

Since founding Innbus in 1999, the IVB has operated as a transport coordinator in Innsbruck. The roles of the company include transport planning, traffic control and monitoring, constructing and maintaining the transport infrastructure, maintenance and various services for transport companies as well as marketing and sales. The sister company, Innbus, operates 26 bus routes within Innsbruck and the nearby Stubaital region on behalf of the IVB and the Verkehrsverbund Tirol (VVT) transport association.

The IVB has provided for this service exchange with Innbus as part of its contractual obligations, making it possible to finance those services falling outside of the scope of competition, in accordance with EU regulations, as well as services subject to competition from the diesel bus industry.

Popular among commuters and tourists

The state capital of Innsbruck is located at the heart of the Alps in the Tyrol Inntal valley which is home to one of Europe’s main arterial routes. In addition to the vast flow of traffic from North to South, there is also a significant traffic flow from East to West. Some 38,000 people commute into the city each day and approximately 12,000 commute from the city. Innsbruck is also a popular winter and summer holiday destination thanks to its attractive programme of leisure activities.

The IVB and Innbus services transport approximately 47.5 million passengers along 28 different routes each year, totalling 8.2 million kilometres of journeys on the route network (which covers a total of 340,000 kilometres). 192 vehicles are in operation and some of the older trams of over 30 years in age are now being replaced by 32 new low-floor vehicles. Some of the old fixtures and fittings were recently purchased by Romania.

Employment

The IVB and Innbus together employ 599 workers of which 78 work in management, 366 in transport and 32 on the Stubaitalbahn tram. 104 people work in maintaining the buses, trams, buildings and so forth. The IVB is currently training 15 apprentices in the various divisions of the company at its award-winning training centre. The IVB is owned by the Innsbrucker Kommunalbetriebe AG (51%), the city of Innsbruck (45%) and the state of Tyrol (4%).

100 year history

The IVB can look back at a 100 year history. The foundations of the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe and Stubaitalbahn GmbH were formed by the construction of a local train which ran from Innsbruck to Hall in Tyrol (1891).

Additional operations

In addition to the standard route operation, the IVB also offers numerous additional services including the ‘Nightliner’ night-bus which has enjoyed enormous success since it was introduced in 1999. The service currently transports approximately 40,000 passengers across seven routes each month – and numbers are on the increase. The Nightliner runs between 23:00 and 05:00 and is used by both party-goers and numerous commuters.

Since 2003, ‘The Sightseer’ has been transporting tourists in a loop around some of the most beautiful and fascinating sights in the city. Audio sets are available during the journey, providing information about Innsbruck in six languages. Passengers can break their journey at any stop along ‘The Sightseer’ route to explore individual sights at their leisure.

The IVB also operates at Innsbruck airport. Here, the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe provides a link with the city centre as well as transporting the passengers from the plane to the airport building as Innsbruck airport does not have a passenger boarding bridge.

Over the last few years, the IVB has built on its reputation as a reliable and high-performance supplier of shuttle services, particularly during the European Football Championship when the IVB worked with the organisational committee and other partners to devise a special transport concept.

Innovative inventions

The IVB continues to work with various cultural institutions such as museums and the Tyrol state theatre as well as sports events (soccer, football, ice hockey) – in the form of ticket cooperation measures, for example. However, IVB mobility is not just restricted to transport services. For the last year and a half, the IVB has also been working with the supermarket chain MPREIS to offer a delivery service (MBOX). MPREIS customers can ask for their shopping to be transported from the store to their home and can even place an order over the phone or by email.

Another innovative invention is the special ticket for workers (IVB-Topticket) which has been offered to Innsbruck companies since the start of the year and provides significant transport discounts. The same goes for the Smart Info real-time information service which can be accessed via the internet or a mobile phone as well as the modern Infotainment-System which will be installed in buses and trams.

Promoting innovation

The Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe is a modern company which promotes innovation. This image is deeply rooted in the company philosophy and was devised by managers and employees two years ago. The IVB concept incorporates four core goals:

  1. The IVB is a part of Innsbruck
  2. We create mobility for the people of the city
  3. We offer innovative services and products thanks to our qualified and motivated personnel
  4. We are reliable and respectful towards our customers, employees, partners and the environment

The first goal is of particular importance: after all, if one considers oneself to be part of the city, one is more aware of one’s responsibility and acts accordingly.

Identification with the city and its people is the reason why sustainability is such a special issue for the IVB. The measures introduced to date range from fuel savings training for employees in the driver services division to obtaining certification (‘sustainability and economy’) whereby the company’s social, ecological and economic activities are monitored. The sensible and careful use of resources is also important to the Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe in order to protect habitats and the environment – as well as the IVB’s aim to present itself as a modern company.

A part of the city

The new tram will certainly contribute to this sustainability in Innsbruck. Bombardier/Elin have supplied six vehicles so far and the reaction from customers has been very positive. The quiet drive mechanism, high level of comfort, even entrance and exit points adapted to suit the disabled and adjustable air-conditioned interior are all reasons why these new vehicles have been so well received by the people of Innsbruck. They already belong to the city. Just like the IVB.

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