The photo below is from a typical tram stop in Vienna. But what do all those words, symbols, and various signs mean?
Let me reveal all…
- See also: Public transport in Vienna
Well, the large black lettering in the red-rimmed oval (“Straßenbahn Haltestelle”) means “tram stop.” Just in case you weren’t completely sure.
The letters in the blue-rimmed semi-circle say “Autobus Haltestelle”. if you guessed “bus stop”, you’d be right. So this particular platform doubles as both a tram and bus stop.
The name of the stop or station is on every sign at the top. In this case, it’s Volkstheater.
The red number (49) tells you the name of the tram line that halts at the stop. The blue number (48a) is the name of the bus line. Should you see a similar sign with the letter N and a pair of cat’s eyes, this indicates that a special night service stops here, too.
Below those symbols you have timetables for the relevant trams and/or buses, giving the names of the stops on the line, the time it takes to reach each of these stops, and the intervals between trams/buses for various periods of the day.
What you can’t see too well in that top photo are two smaller signs pointing out from the post, as shown above.
These signs repeat the number or letter of the tram’s line, point in the direction the tram leaves from the stop, and list the name of the last station on the line.
In this case, you can see that the 43 tram goes to Schottentor as its final destination. The U symbol tells you there is a subway (U-Bahn) at Schottentor. (The N43 is the nighttime version of the 43.)
One further sign at many stops is the electronic display providing up-to-date timetable information. Like this:
The number on the left is the bus or tram line (our 49 tram and 48A bus).
The words in the middle are the final destination (the Ring, Volkstheater stop).
And the number on the right is how many minutes until the next vehicle is expected to depart from this stop.
Two things to note:
- The mini wheelchair symbol next to the 49 tells you that the tram is wheelchair-friendly, with a low floor for boarding and dedicated space for wheelchairs. (Good to know if you have a pram, too)
- The minutes until departure may cycle through the next couple of vehicles
This is why the number might change unexpectedly. So if it jumps from 4 mins to 10 mins and then back to 4 mins, it simply means the next tram is 4 minutes away and the one after that is 10 minutes away.
Keep an eye on that electronic display – the transport authorities sometimes use it for relevant messaging, too, such as when an accident en route means a lengthy delay.