The public transport company in Lucerne (VBL) established its new mobility concept (Agglomobil due") in order to reach future targets. It includes the consistent matching of train and trolleybus routes, larger vehicles and launch services. It will be implemented from 2014 til 2018.
Background & Objectives
The city of Lucerne is situated right in the centre of Switzerland by Lake Lucerne. It has around 75000 inhabitants and belongs to the seventh biggest Canton Lucerne (with around 380000 inhabitants). Its expansion shapes an agglomeration area of almost 1500 square kilometres. The public line operations (by VBL) in this area are associated with a number of problems. Passenger numbers are expected to increase 50% by 2030. VBL firstly identified these issues and then developed measures to patch and guarantee the quality of mobility for the region through the “Agglomobil due” concept.
Weak spots are:
- radial adjusted net in the direction of the centre/main station
- no cross connections
- capacity constraints on several lines
- limited reliability and profitability
- low speed connections
In the report “AggloMobil due” VBL identifies ways to fulfil for a better connection: - all main routes need to be served every 7.5 mins as well as city areas with a higher density; residential areas need to be served every 10 mins.
In relation to their targets, VBL developed four main principles that provide the framework for “AggloMobil due”. The first principle is the “justification of the bus schedule in consideration of train operations”. The aim is to provide incentives by making the train network more attractive and connect buses and trains more frequently through hubs. The second principle is “to use larger buses” in order to carry up to 50% more passengers. The third principle is the “extension of interconnections”. Cross connections will be implemented meaning all main suburb and city centre destinations will be linked directly or indirectly. The fourth principle is to “create bus only lanes, especially in the centre”. This ensures reliable, fast bus transport and higher levels of comfort.
These principles are intended to ensure the fruition of higher quantities of transport options, shorter journey times and also to relieve city centre traffic through a higher number of direct connections.
Specially articulated trolleybuses guarantee higher frequencies by longer operation times. Therefore VBL are to order new trolleybuses to replace older trailers. Lucerne implemented its first trolleybus in 1941. By 1963 almost 50 trolleybuses had replaced trams und conventional buses in public transport.>After various discussions in the 1990s about continuity of the trolleys, they have gone through a renaissance since the 2000s. With "AggloMobil due" VBL decided to use trolleybuses in their operations for an environmentally friendly, efficient and particularly suitable transport vehicle for the hilly city of Lucerne.
At the end of July 2012 VBL received building permission for the extension of trolleybus line 6 towards Büttenen. For the first time in a long time the trolleybus network is now being extended. The extension to Ebikon is estimated to cost 9 million Swiss Francs (approx 7.5 million Euro). Currently 53 trolleybuses and 77 conventional buses are in line operation.
VBL shows with its “Agglomobil due” concept that they have identified particular problems in the operation of their bus services. They are attempting to find solutions by establishing a comprehensive future concept. With its four principles “Agglomobil due” aims to implement a newly structured system. The route extension within the trolleybus section and bus-only lanes will provide VBL with more information and experience about passenger desires in public transport and help solve their constraints.