It is a member of the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbundes (KVV) transport association that manages a common public transport structure for Karlsruhe and its surrounding areas and a partner, with the Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK) and Deutsche Bahn (DB), in the operation of the Karlsruhe Stadtbahn, the pioneering tram-train system that serves a larger area. It also operates some of the region’s bus services and carries freight by road and rail, and operates a travel agency.
It owns and maintains several railway lines, including the Albtalbahn railway, and leases and maintains other lines. VBK, a sister company, operates Karlsruhe's bus and tram network, and AVG Stadtbahn routes use VBK tracks to access the city centre. Besides AVG and VBK lines, AVG also operates on DB tracks and a short stretch of tram track belonging to the city of Heilbronn. VBK and DB Stadtbahn routes traverse AVG tracks.
AVG dates back to the acquisition in 1958 of the Albtalbahn railway by the city of Karlsruhe. This 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge electric railway was converted to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and connected to the city's tram network. Because it remained legally a railway and needed to conform to mainline railway design and safety standards, AVG accumulated experience in operating across the divide between tramway and railway. It was this experience that led to the development of the Stadtbahn Karlsruhe and to the AVG operating over a much wider area.
- Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland. Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH. 2009. p. 93. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0.
- "Geschichte der AVG bis 1959" [History of the AVG to 1959] (in German). AVG. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
- Seventh National Conference on Light Rail Transit: Baltimore, Maryland. Transportation Research Board. 1995. p. 12.