Munich: Expansion of the subway – planned extension – Munich

When Munich’s then Mayor, Hans-Jochen Vogel, heralded the age of the Munich underground on October 19, 1971 together with Federal Transport Minister Georg Leber and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Alfons Goppel at Marienplatz, it was already clear that the first regular line would not be the same on which the two lines U3 and U6 travel together. The traffic problems on the surface were too great.

Cars jammed everywhere, so that the trams regularly got stuck in traffic. There was great hope on the subway. After the twelve-kilometer route between Kieferngarten and Goetheplatz, the four-kilometer branch of the U3 to the Olympic Center was opened on May 8, 1972.

After that, the expansion of the network was in principle non-stop somewhere in the city.

In 1980 the second main subway line was opened, on which the U1 and U2 now run; the U1 has continued from the main station in the direction of Rotkreuzplatz since 1983. In 1984 the first section of the third underground trunk line, which is now shared by the U4 and U5, went into operation between Stachus and Westendstrasse. Little by little, the outskirts of the city became better and better developed.

The last underground extension to date was the extension of the U3 to Moosach, which was completed in 2010. The network is now 103 kilometers long and has 100 stations.

At this point, one has to remember the accident in Trudering, when on September 20, 1994 a crater opened up on the road during the construction of the underground tunnel in the direction of the exhibition center and a public bus broke in. Two passengers and a construction worker were killed. The cause was groundwater penetrating into the tunnel, whereupon the rock above it was pulled down and the asphalt of the road collapsed directly at the bus stop.

The fact that the underground construction did not continue after 2010 was blamed on the Greens during the 2020 local elections, which they rejected outraged. Indeed, it said in a 2002 article in the party newspaper Green mambathat the extension of the U5 to Pasing was successfully prevented. In fact, the Greens had once signaled a yes, provided that there were subsidies from the federal government. As is well known, this was not the case.

The city decided to bear the costs itself and still build – this summer, however, the Federal Ministry of Transport approved the funding. This section is to be driven on in 2029. The extension of the U5 Planned beyond Pasing to the new Freiham district.

It goes a little faster with the expansion of the U6 from the Großhadern Clinic to Martinsried, MVG has announced that it will be completed by 2025 or 2026. 95 percent of the costs of around 130 million euros will be borne by the Free State, with the remainder being shared proportionally by the district of Munich and the municipality of Planegg. Next is an extension of the U4 Planned from Arabellapark towards Englschalking, but only after 2035.

the U9, which should run between Implerstraße, Hauptbahnhof and Münchner Freiheit, will not come before the end of the 2030s. After all, Deutsche Bahn is planning a holding station for the U-Bahn as part of the second S-Bahn main line, which, however, will delay the construction of the main line. When the U9 is ready, the U-26-Connecting braces are to be built between the pine garden and Am Hart.

The Munich local transport plan also provides a number of options for further new lines. That could be an extension of the U1 be in the north to the Lerchenauer See, the expansion of the southern U5 Direction Ottobrunn, the extensions of the U1 to the Harlaching Clinic, the U3 after Neuried or the U6 to Germering. It is unclear whether there will be federal subsidies for these very expensive projects.

The new, old vision: a subway ring

The town hall SPD also dreams of a subway ring, similar to the one that was planned at the very beginning of the subway era, but was quickly discarded, working title “U50”. This could look like this: The U4 is to start at Messestadt West with a connection to the U2 and run via Englschalking to Arabellapark. From there, the ring could continue to Alte Heide station on the U6 and on to Frankfurter Ring, where there would also be a connection to the U2.

At the level of Oberwiesenfeld, the U50 could then merge onto the path of the U3 to Moosach, make a curve to Pasing, where it would meet the extended U5. That’s the vision. At the beginning of the year, Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) expressed skepticism that the U-Bahn ring could ever be built. On the anniversary day of the subway, Reiter said that no more subways could be built in Munich without more money from the federal government. The OB estimates the proposed projects at six to eight billion euros.

Realized faster: more trams

Because underground construction takes a long time – too long with the constantly increasing traffic in the growing city – and is also very expensive, the local transport plan primarily provides for a massive expansion of the trams. Seven tram lines are to be planned: the so-called tram Y-Nord, the tram Ramersdorf-Neuperlach, the Südtangente, the tram Wasserburger Landstraße, the tram Parkstadt-Solln, an extension of line 19 from Berg am Laim to Daglfing and a tram from Amalienburgstraße to Freiham.

Ultimately, only the acceleration of the regular buses will quickly relieve traffic in the city. This works with bus lanes and the prioritization of buses at traffic lights. Admittedly, almost every single bus lane is being fought over in the city council, as these take up space for car traffic.

One must not forget: The subway city of Munich is still a car city with more than 850,000 registered vehicles. That is about 160,000 more than ten years earlier.

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