Hamburger Verkehrsverbund

The Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV) (English: "Hamburg Transport Association") is a company coordinating public transport in and around Hamburg, Germany. Its main objectives are to provide a unified fare system, requiring only a single ticket for journeys with transfers between different operating companies, and to facilitate and speed up travel by harmonising the individual companies' schedules. At its inception in 1965, HVV was the first organisation of this kind worldwide.

Hamburger Verkehrsverbund
FoundedNovember 29, 1965
Area served
Hamburg Metropolitan Region
ServicesPublic transport
Revenue 847 million in 2017[1]
OwnerFree and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (85.5%)
State of Schleswig-Holstein (3%)
State of Lower Saxony (2%)
Districts Herzogtum Lauenburg, Pinneberg, Segeberg, Stormarn, Harburg, Lüneburg and Stade (9.5%)

In 2010 HVV provides rail, bus and ferry transportation for an area of 8,616 square kilometres with approximately 3.6 million inhabitants in the states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. HVV has approximately 1.95 million customers on an average working day.[2]

HVV acts is the overall coordinating body for transport in the conurbation, with representation by the Hamburger Hochbahn (Hamburg elevated railway); Deutsche Bahn (DB, German Federal Railways); AKN railway company (Altona-Kaltenkirchen-Neumünster Railway); HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst AG (HADAG sea-tourism and ferry service plc); VHH (Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein / Hamburg Holstein Transport Ltd), and KVG Stade (Kraftverkehrgesellschaft Stade, GmbH / Motor Traffic Company, LLC).

With an average of 50,000 commuters per day the Metrobus 5 bus line is the busiest in Europe. In the city centre, stops are served without a specific schedule every two or three minutes and since December 2005, extra long double-articulated buses have been used.


HVV was founded on November 29, 1965,[3] with the four initial partners the Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HHA), the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB), the HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst AG and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH). The first results that the new organization delivered came on January 1, 1967, with a unified fare structure, pooling of receipts and coordinated systemwide timetables across all modes of transport.[3]


The public transport authorities (PTAs) are also the tendering organizations and owners of the limited liability company Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (GmbH). The Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg (85.5%), the State of Schleswig-Holstein (3%), the State of Lower Saxony (2%) and the Districts Herzogtum Lauenburg, Pinneberg, Segeberg, Stormarn, Harburg, Lüneburg and Stade (9.5%) are these PTAs.


Rail transport

In 2006 the HVV organised 27 rapid transit rail lines with a length of 881 km,[2] with the following operators:


The following companies operate bus services for the HVV:


The HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst operates ferries on the Elbe river.

Other organisations

  • Stadtwerke Norderstedt (in German), operating one night bus line and coordinating public transport in Norderstedt
  • Verkehrsgesellschaft Norderstedt mbH (VGN), owing the Norderstedt part of the underground line U1 and a railway line operated by Hamburger Hochbahn AG respective AKN


The unified fare system includes cash ticket sales (16%), season tickets (for week, month, or year) (72%) and disabled passengers, combined tickets, fare evaders, etc. (12%). In 2011, ticket revenue was €652.2 million. Cash tickets for one ride or the day can be bought at all railway stations, ferry slots or in all buses. There are also "family tickets" (for 2 adults and 3 children) or group tickets for up to 5 adults. The HVV offers travel passes ('ProfiCard'), and semester tickets for the students of all major universities, both heavily discounted. The HVV also offers tickets over mobile phones.[4]

Most tickets are not transferable to other persons.

Special programs

The HVV offers a variety of types of weekly or monthly special fares.[5]

School pupils, students, trainees and apprentices

For all public school pupils tickets can be bought at the company service centers. Other schools need to be registered by the HVV. The semester tuition for most universities include the ticket pass. Trainees and apprentices need be registered by the chamber of commerce to get a season ticket.


All children to the age of 6 are free of charge. For older children, seasonal tickets can be chosen.

Senior citizens

Weekly or monthly tickets for anybody 63 or older are sold at service centers.

See also


  1., retrieved 2018-07-22
  2. HVV Figures 2006, pdf (Retrieved on May 18, 2008 from the HVV website) "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2009-03-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Weigelt, Horst (May 1969). "Hamburg Co-Ordinates its Transport". Modern Railways. Ian Allan Ltd. XXV (248): 250–256.
  4. HVV website information German version. Retrieved on May 27, 2008
  5. HVV website information English version. Retrieved on May 27, 2008
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