Stuttgart public transportation - Getting around.
I posted about car sharing lately. To go further into the subject of mobility, I am adding info here about public transportation. In an additional post I will detail the bicycle rental system.
There is an extensive public transportation system in Stuttgart and the surrounding region. Plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, theater, and shopping are within strolling distance of the center. S-Bahn train lines extend to the whole region, 30 kilometers or more in all directions. U-Bahn and Strassen-Bahns are the municipal lines, not going so far but have more frequent stops. Buses fill in the gaps where the trains don’t go. Transportation generally goes from 5 am to 12.30 AM - or longer on the weekends. Many trains run at 30 minute intervals during the slowest times and 10 to 15 minutes at rush hours, buses even more frequently.
Tickets are bought before entering a train from vending machines. Bus tickets are also available from the drivers while entering. In U-Bahns there is a small machine to validate usage of 4-ride tickets, otherwise single ride and other tickets need no validation. I point this out to contrast to Munich. There one buys a single ride ticket and has to have it stamped upon entering a U-Bahn. I learned the hard way by being controlled and told they ticket was not stamped yet thus invalid.
Being caught without the proper ticket in public transportation results in a penalty of at least 40 Euros. Ticket prices depend on the distance and are not cheap but there are many specials like; monthly or weekly passes which include all 3 forms of transportation. There are group tickets and a cheap ticket “short ride” that cost 1,30 Euros. It’s good for 3 stops on bus or U-Bahn, no changing lines, or 1 stop on the S-Bahn.
The regional and municipal lines cooperate with the national German Rail system - Deutsche-Bahn popularly referred to simply as DB. They offer daily tickets for individuals or groups for the whole state of Baden-Württemberg that include the local and regional systems. They unfortunately don’t include the fast, long distant ICE or IC trains but are often a good deal for day’s trips. For longer distances tickets can often be bought up until the day before traveling online with discounts up to 70%. In addition, there are year cards giving 25, 50 or 100% off for all of the DB trains but most tourists would not be around long enough to make use of one and need a German address to get one.
If one gets a ticket to another city with DB, one should note if it states ”+ City” on it next to the destination or origin. This means one can continue on and use all of the public transportation in the destination city, or if so indicated, in the city of departure. This can make a huge price difference. If one starts from the outskirts of the Stuttgart S-Bahn system to get to the main station and takes a train to Hamburg where one would continue on to a final destination in the outskirts – one would otherwise easily pay 10 to 12 Euros just for these local connections.
Deutsche Bahn: www.bahn.de
Stuttgart Public transportation: www.vvs.de