Munich, Germany

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Munich U-Bahn line U6 station at Marienplatz. Photo by David Pirmann, September 2009.

Munich was founded on the banks of the Isar River, the location being chosen for the foundation of monasteries, "München" in German. Munich is the capital of Bavaria and is the third largest city in Germany. City population is approximately 1.3 million, with 2.9 million in the metropolitan area.

The central transportation hub of Munich is located at the "Hauptbahnhof". Most people arriving in Munch from its suburbs entered through the Hauptbahnhof and the Metro "U-bahn" lines were designed to provide good connections to this station. U1, U2, U4, U5, and the part time U7 and U8 lines serve Hauptbahnhof. Several other key stations on the suburban "S-Bahn" lines are located in the city center also providing access to the U-bahn lines, notably connections to the U3 and U6 at Marienplatz. The U-bahn and S-bahn lines are augmented by a network of tramlines, or Straßenbahn. Prior to the construction of the Metro, the Straßenbahn provided most of the intra-city transportation, and the importance of the Straßenbahn network has since faded. The U-bahn lines (U1 to U8) run every five minutes in the rush hour and 10-20 minutes during the off peak hours.

The need for a Metro system was realized in the 1960s and the initial portions of lines U6 and U3 in the north of the city were opened in time for the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich. Since then, U-bahn construction has progressed at a furious pace, with a further 27 stations opened by 1980, 28 more by 1990, and 28 more by 2004. Construction on an extenstion of line U3 from Olympiazentrum to Olympia-Einkaufszentrum started in 1999 and should be completed by 2007. Another extension is being made to the north end of the U6 to Forschungsgelände, for completion in 2006.

The S-bahn lines, also "metroized" for the 1972 Olympics, look very similar to the suburban lines in Philadelphia, or the Paris RER: a central city tunnel connecting former terminals (Hauptbahnhof in the west and Ostbanhof in the east). The S-bahn lines are through-routed through the center city and fan out into the Munich suburbs.

All of the city's transportation systems are coordinated, in terms of fares and schedules, by the "MVV", Münchenerverkehrsverbund, or Munich Transport and Tarriff Association. The U-bahn is operated by the "MVG", Münchenerverkehrsgesselschaft.




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