Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe

Coordinates: 52°29′31″N 13°21′35″E / 52.49194°N 13.35972°E / 52.49194; 13.35972
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Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)
Company typeState-owned
Industrypassenger transport Edit this on Wikidata
Area served
Key people
Eva Kreienkamp (CEO)
ServicesPublic transport
OwnerState of Berlin (100%)
Number of employees
14,417 (as of 31 December 2016)[1] Edit this at Wikidata

The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (German: 'Berlin Transport Company') is the main public transport company of Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It manages the city's U-Bahn (underground), tram, bus and ferry networks, but not the S-Bahn urban rail system.

The generally used abbreviation, BVG, has been retained from the company's original name, Berliner Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft (Berlin Transportation Stock Company).[2][3] Subsequently, the company was renamed Berliner Verkehrs-Betriebe. During the division of Berlin, the BVG was split between BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe Gesellschaft in West Berlin) and BVB (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe in East Berlin, also known as the Volkseigenes Kombinat Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, BVB). After reunification, the current formal name was adopted.


Former BVG headquarters on Potsdamer Straße
A Berlin bus during the strikes of 1932

The Berliner Verkehrs Aktiengesellschaft was formed in 1928, by the merger of the Allgemeine Berliner Omnibus AG (the operator of the city's buses), the Gesellschaft für Elektrische Hoch- und Untergrundbahnen (the operator of the U-Bahn) and the Berliner Straßenbahn-Betriebs-GmbH (the operator of the city's trams). On 1 January 1938, the company was renamed Berliner Verkehrs-Betriebe, but the acronym BVG was retained.[4]

In 1933, the State Commissioner for Berlin, Julius Lippert, appointed the NSDAP politician and later Waffen SS soldier Johannes Engel as head of the BVG Supervisory Board. The board of directors and most of the senior staff were dismissed or disempowered. During World War II, the BVG used some 4000 forced laborers, for whom the company built its own barracks camp.[5]

From 1 August 1949, the BVG networks in West Berlin and East Berlin were operated separately. The two operators were originally known as BVG (West) and BVG (Ost), but from 1 January 1969 the eastern operator was renamed as the Kombinat Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe or BVB. After the reunification of Berlin, the two operators were recombined into the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe on 1 January 1992.

Prior to the division of Berlin, tram lines existed throughout the city, but BVG (West) abandoned all the tram lines in its part of the city, replacing them all by buses by 1967. However BVG (Ost) retained its tram lines, and on the reunification of Berlin the BVG inherited a considerable network of routes in the eastern half of Berlin.

On 9 January 1984, BVG (West) took over the responsibility for operation of the S-Bahn services in West Berlin. This urban rail network had previously been operated in both halves of Berlin by the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the state rail operator of East Germany, but had been subject to a boycott in the west after the building of the Berlin Wall. With the reunification of Berlin, responsibility for the S-Bahn reverted to Deutsche Bahn AG (DBAG), the state rail operator of Germany. The S-Bahn is currently managed by the S-Bahn Berlin GmbH, a subsidiary company of DBAG.[6]

BVG (West) also took part in the Berlin M-Bahn project, an urban maglev system, in the period between 1984 and 1992. The project used a section of the U-Bahn right of way that was out of service due to the building of the Berlin Wall, and was dropped with the fall of that wall.[7]

The BVG launched the MetroNetz on 12 December 2004 which remodeled the tram and bus network to create 24 tram and bus lines (with M prefix) covering parts of the city that weren't served by S-Bahn or U-Bahn.

In September 2019, BVG launched first in the world large scale Mobility as a service project “Jelbi” [8] together with a Lithuanian mobility startup Trafi.

Chief executive officers[edit]

Name From To
Brolat, FritzFritz Brolat 1929 1931
Lüdtke, ErnstErnst Lüdtke 1929 1933
Majerczik, WilhelmWilhelm Majerczik 1929 1930
Quarg, GotthardGotthard Quarg 1929 1933
Zangemeister, HermannHermann Zangemeister 1929 1933
Bennighoff, WilhelmWilhelm Bennighoff 1933 1938
Thomas, GeorgGeorg Thomas 1933 1934
Reschke, MaxMax Reschke 1934 1937
Lorenz, AlfredAlfred Lorenz 1935 1938
Ulmer, OttoOtto Ulmer 1937 1945
Mroß, MaxMax Mroß 1939 1945
Fink, FranzFranz Fink 1939 1945
Schneider, WalterWalter Schneider 1945 1963
Knapp, WilhelmWilhelm Knapp 1945 1949 (Went to BVG-Ost)
Struwe, WalterWalter Struwe 1945 1970
Warnke, JohannesJohannes Warnke 1945 1960
Neubecker, FritzFritz Neubecker 1947 1968
Timm, RichardRichard Timm 1952 1958
König, KarlKarl König 1960 1965
Goltz, HeinzHeinz Goltz 1971 1975
Piefke, JoachimJoachim Piefke
„Der Mann mit der Fliege“
1971 1986
Frank, BrunoBruno Frank 1972 1982
von Knoblauch, Hans-ErhardtHans-Erhardt von Knoblauch 1977 1986
Diedrich, WilliWilli Diedrich 1980 1988
Sachße, HarroHarro Sachße 1983 1994
Döpfer, HelmutHelmut Döpfer 1986
Lorenzen, KonradKonrad Lorenzen 1988 1994
vorm Walde, RüdigerRüdiger vorm Walde 1994 2001
Graf von Arnim, AndreasAndreas Graf von Arnim 2002 2005
Sturmowski, AndreasAndreas Sturmowski 2005 2010
Nikutta, Sigrid EvelynSigrid Evelyn Nikutta 2010 2019
Kreienkamp, EvaEva Kreienkamp 2020


The latest model of Berlin's U-Bahn called Icke in Olympia-Stadion U-Bahn station (2015)
Berlin trams (2009)
A Berlin double-decker bus (2005)
A zero-emission BVG ferry (2014)
Metro-Bear-Berlin: This Buddy Bear with its map of the Berlin U-Bahn can be found in the Alexanderplatz station.


BVG operates the U-Bahn, an urban rapid transit rail system. The U-Bahn now comprises nine lines with 173 stations and a total length of 147 kilometres (91.3 mi). Trains run every two to five minutes during peak hours, every five minutes for the rest of the day and every ten minutes in the evening and on Sunday.[9][10]

U-Bahn service is provided by 1266 carriages, of which 500 are used on the earlier small-profile lines (U1 to U4) and 766 are used on the later large-profile lines. These cars travel 132 million km (83 million miles), carrying 400 million passengers, over the year.[9][10]


BVG operates a tram network comprising 22 tram lines with 377 stops and measuring 293.78 km (182.55 miles) in length. Of these, nine are designated as part of the MetroNetz, which provide a high frequency service in areas poorly served by the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. These MetroTram tram lines are recognisable by an M prefix to their route number, and are the only tram routes to operate 24 hours a day.[10]

Tram service is provided by 391 carriages, of which 154 are modern low floor carriages and 237 are older carriages. Virtually all of the remaining network is within the confines of the former East Berlin, as all the routes in the former West Berlin were abandoned during the period of the city's partition. However, there have been some extensions of routes across the former border since reunification, most remarkably to the city's new main railway station Berlin Hauptbahnhof (lines M5, M8 and M10).[10]


BVG operates a network of 149 daytime bus routes serving 2634 stops and a total route length of 1,675 kilometres (1,041 mi), together with a night bus network of 63 bus routes serving 1508 stops and a total route length of 795 kilometres (494 mi). Seventeen of BVG's bus routes are designated as part of the MetroNetz, which provides a high frequency service in areas poorly served by the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. Like the MetroTram tram routes, these MetroBus routes can be recognised by an M prefix to their route number. A further 13 BVG-operated bus routes are express routes with an X prefix to their route number.[10]

BVG bus service is provided by a fleet of 1349 buses, of which no fewer than 407 are double-decker buses. Whilst such buses are common in Ireland and the United Kingdom, their use elsewhere in Europe is extremely uncommon.[10]

Route 218 is partially operated by ex-BVG vintage vehicles now in preservation but used in revenue-earning service. The services depart from Theodor-Heuss Platz every two hours from 11:15 to 19:15 and return from Pfaueninsel from 10:00 to 20:00.


Berlin has an extensive network of waterways within its city boundaries, including the Havel, Spree and Dahme rivers, and many linked lakes and canals. These are crossed by six passenger ferry routes that are operated by the BVG.[11]


The BVG is a member of the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB), the transport association run by public transport providers in the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg. This body provides a common fare structure that allows travel on various operators in and around Berlin.

All BVG services form part of the VBB's common public transport fare structure. This covers the city of Berlin and approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) beyond the city boundaries. The area is split into three zones. Zone A is the central parts of the city (inside the Ringbahn), and zone B is the outer parts of Berlin City. Zone C covers an area beyond the city boundaries. Ticket fares have a slight price difference between these three zones. For instance in June 2010, a one-day ticket for zone A+B was priced at €6.10, a zone B+C one-day travel ticket was €6.30, and for all three zones A+B+C, the price was €6.50.[12][13]



The navi is a monthly published overview of planned line deviations and changes due to construction measures or events. In addition, it offers alternatives to avoid them and informs about line and timetable adjustments. It is enclosed with the PLUS magazine. The first edition was published in August 2013.


PLUS is the monthly customer magazine of the BVG. The 40-page booklet is available in buses, trams and subway stations, among other places.


BVG Beteiligungsholding GmbH & Co. KG[edit]

BVG Beteiligungsholding GmbH & Co. KG (BBH) as the managing holding company has the task of managing the investment companies administratively and strategically and to provide commercial services for the affiliated companies as well as to carry out the investment management for the BVG. On the basis of BBH offers services in the areas of human resources, finance, accounting, controlling, IT and insurance. In addition, their 100% participations include cash pooling and profit transfer agreements. These include the BT, URBANIS and IOB.

BVG Beteiligungsholding Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH[edit]

BVG Beteiligungsholding Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (BBV) manages BBH's business as a general partner exclusively.

BT Berlin Transport GmbH[edit]

Berlin Transport (BT)'s core business is to provide bus and subway services for the BVG. In addition, the company provides occasional travel services for both — the BVG and third parties.

URBANIS GmbH[edit]

The core business of URBANIS is the development and rental of commercial usable areas, especially in the area of Berlin subway stations.

IOB Internationale Omnibusbahnhof-Betreibergesellschaft mbH[edit]

Logo of the IOB

The IOB Internationale Omnibusbahnhof-Betreibergesellschaft mbH (IOB) operates the Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Berlin (ZOB) in Berlin on behalf of the BVG. The core business of the IOB consists in the control of the intercity bus operations as well as the economic use of the real estate on the ZOB.

Projektrealisierungs GmbH U5[edit]

Projektrealisierungs GmbH U5 is a wholly owned subsidiary of BVG and was in charge of the closure of the gap in the U5 subway line in Berlin, in particular project management and controlling as well as project marketing for the BVG.

BVG-Fahrzeugfinanzierungsgesellschaft mbH[edit]

BVG-Fahrzeugfinanzierungsgesellschaft mbH (BVG-FFG) was founded on 1 January 2016 as a 100% subsidiary of the BVG. As a result of the organizational separation between the core business of the BVG and rail vehicle procurement, the assignment for financing and realization of vehicle procurement by the BVG-FFG. As part of financing the procurement of metro and tram vehicles, it is entitled to a comprehensive representation of the BVG and trades in the name and on account of the BVG. The tasks of the society include the admission of credits to financing the rail vehicle procurement of the BVG, the financing management and the provision of procurement finance and accounting services including controlling.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BVG Geschäftsbericht 2016". Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. 8 May 2017. p. 41. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Dazu gründete er die Berliner Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft – kurz, BVG."
  3. ^ "LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies (Library of Congress)".
  4. ^ "Die Geschichte der Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe" [The history of the Berlin public transport] (in German). BVG. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  5. ^ "BVG hat in der NS-Zeit Schuld auf sich geladen" [BVG incurred guilt during the Nazi era]. Der Tagesspiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  6. ^ Hardy, Brian (2000). The Berlin S-Bahn Handbook. Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 1-85414-185-6.
  7. ^ Hardy, Brian (1996). The Berlin U-Bahn. Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 1-85414-184-8.
  8. ^ Busvine, Douglas (24 September 2019). "From U-Bahn to e-scooters: Berlin mobility app has it all". Reuters.
  9. ^ a b "The Berlin metro (U-Bahn)". Means of Transport & Routes. BVG. Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "BVG in Zahlen" [BVG in figures] (in German). BVG. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Linien, Netze & Karten – Verkehrsmittel & Linien – Fähre" (in German). BVG. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Tickets / Ticket fares". Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Tickets & Tarife" [Tickets & Fares] (in German). BVG. Retrieved 16 June 2010.

External links[edit]

Media related to Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe at Wikimedia Commons

52°29′31″N 13°21′35″E / 52.49194°N 13.35972°E / 52.49194; 13.35972