Berlin public transport network ranked the best in the world

Berlin public transport network ranked the best in the world

In a city as big as Berlin, public transport is part of the glue which holds locals and their everyday lives together - it only takes one day of BVG strikes for often critical Berliners to realise that everything quickly falls apart without that glue. But now, in a TimeOut survey, the capital’s transport system has gotten international recognition as the best in the world thanks to reviews from a most unlikely group: Berliners themselves. 

Berlin public transport system named best in the world

Emerging from coronavirus, areas around the world are now readdressing their transport policies, especially as the climate crisis becomes increasingly tangible. Public transport is back at the top of the agenda in many countries, and 2022 was the year that Germany made international headlines with its 9-euro ticket, a summer policy that made it look like the federal republic was paving the way for the future of public transport. 

Many would say that the delay and disorganisation of the 49-euro ticket rollout sullied that reputation. However, one corner of transport in Germany seems to have made it through the tunnel and emerge unscathed with a bright yellow, glowing reputation: Berlin’s 155,4-kilometre-long transport network.

This is according to data collected by TimeOut, which surveyed 20.000 city-dwellers in 50 international spots before drawing their conclusions. Respondents were asked quite simply, “Is it easy to get around your city by public transport?” In the cities which made the top 19, four out of five respondents were positive about their local transport network.

The US publication praised the Berlin network’s efficiency, ease of navigation and the fact that trains, trams and buses are available almost around the clock. In Berlin S- and U-Bahn trains are only closed between 1am and 4am on weekdays. 

BVG employees aren’t so convinced of their own greatness

Credit is certainly due to the BVG for running the city’s S- and U-Bahn trains, trams and buses and getting Berliners to their bars, parks, jobs and houses, but employees of the local public transport association are still convinced that there is room for improvement.

270 employees recently signed a letter to bosses criticising management for insufficiently imposing rules at stations. According to the employees, on lines such as the north-to-south-running U8 and U6, where open drug use, public urination and unruly tourists are common, BVG drivers are saying that they feel concerned for their safety at work

The praise and criticism of Berlin’s 175-station strong network comes just after a BVG paper was leaked to the press, revealing that the association plans to expand the city’s network to almost double its current size, stretching 318 kilometres around Berlin and its suburbs

TimeOut cities with best public transport worldwide

According to the TimeOut ranking, these are the top 10 best cities for public transport across the world:

  1. Berlin
  2. Prague
  3. Tokyo
  4. Copenhagen
  5. Stockholm
  6. Singapore
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Taipei
  9. Shanghai
  10. Amsterdam

You can read TimeOut’s complete list of the best public transport networks in the world here.

Thumb image credit: Perekotypole /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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