The history of local public transport in Frankfurt

Opening of the Taunus railway with the short stretch from Frankfurt am Main-Höchst to Wiesbaden

1 November 1840
Approval for regular horse-driven omnibus operations through the city, making this the first regular local transport route in Frankfurt am Main

19 May 1872
Approval to operate and open the first horse-drawn railway line from Schönhof to Bockenheimer Warte and Hauptwache. Foundation of the Frankfurter Trambahn-Gesellschaft (Frankfurt tram company) by F. de la Hault & Cie., Brussels

Construction of the first electric tram between Frankfurt and Offenbach by the Frankfurt-Offenbacher Trambahn-Gesellschaft (FOTG – Frankfurt–Offenbach tram company)

12 May 1888
First steam trains operated by the Frankfurter Lokalbahn AG go into service and continue to operate until 1929.

1 January 1898
Frankfurter Trambahn-Gesellschaft is taken over by the City of Frankfurt

1 January 1899
Waldbahn AG is taken over by the City of Frankfurt.

1900 to 1999


1 January 1901
Eschersheim steam railway operated by Frankfurter Lokalbahn AG is taken over by the City of Frankfurt

Electric trams operated by Frankfurt-Offenbacher Trambahn-Gesellschaft (FOTG) are taken over by the City of Frankfurt. All routes are now amalgamated under municipal administration and renamed Städtische Strassenbahn (city trams).

Last horse-drawn trams suspended. All lines now electrified except for a few steam trains.

First omnibuses come into service.

1 May 1955
Operations of Frankfurter Lokalbahn AG in Bad Homburg v.d.H. are taken over by the municipal administration. The two routes operated from Heddernheim to Bad Homburg v.d.H. and Heddernheim to Hohemark are named the Taunusbahn (Taunus rail).

4 July 1961
The city council decides to develop a new transport system (underground trains).

Both municipal operations, the ‘Stadtwerke’ (public utilities) and the trams are amalgamated into a single entity.

4 October 1968
First underground line from Hauptwache to Nordweststadt begins operations.

Frankfurter Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund is created (shareholders include SWF).

4 November 1973
Underground route from Hauptwache to Theaterplatz opened.

26 May1974
Tunnel stretch between Theaterplatz and Konstablerwache openend; local train route B1 starts operations from Theaterplatz to Giessener Strasse.

29 September 1974
A1 extended from Nordweststadt to Römerstadt.

9 March 1977 
B1 extended from Giessener Strasse to Preungesheim.

28 May 1978
Opening of the local train routes from Theaterplatz to Hauptwache, Römerstadt to Ginnheim, Heddernheim to Oberursel and Hohemark, the central station (Hauptbahnhof) to Theaterplatz, and Giessener Strasse to Preungesheim.

Central train workshop opens.

Central operations room opens.

31 May 1980
Konstablerwache to Seckbacher Landstrasse route starts operating, and new U3 carriage types enter service.

30 September 1984
Underground line from Theaterplatz to Südbahnhof is opened, and lines U1, U2 and U3 are extended to Südbahnhof.

11 October 1986
Underground route C from Industriehof to Zoo opens.

30 May 1992
Underground route CI from Zoo to Enkheim opens and the new U7 line from Hausen to Enkheim comes in to service.

28 May 1995
Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbundes (Rhine-Main transport association) starts operations.

12 June 1995
U4 (U3-2000) motorised carriages come into service.

15 December 1995
Formal establishment of the public utility company Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main mbH (VGF).

1 August 1996
VGF starts operations.

7 July 1997
One hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of trams in Frankfurt.

9 September 1997
Traffic island at Hauptwache opens.

10 September 1997
VGF’s new logo introduced.

4 October 1998
Thirtieth anniversary of underground trains in Frankfurt.

5 February 1999
‘Dynamic passenger information’ introduced at VGF’s stops and stations.

26 March 1999
VGF starts cashless payments.

15 June 1999
VGF goes online.

4 November 1999
VGF employs passenger attendants for the first time to improve customer service.

2000 to present day


27 February 2000
Start of the new ‘Frankfurter Norden’ (Frankfurt north) bus routes.

1 April 2000
VGF starts working with local car-sharing companies.

18 May 2000
Modernisation of the bus fleet with acquisition of 22 new low-floor articulated buses.

7 October 2000
Seventy-fifth anniversary of bus transportation in Frankfurt.

10 February 2001
Underground route from the central station (Hauptbahnhof) to Bockenheimer Warte opens at the new Festhalle/Messe station.

14 June 2001
VGF’s new night bus routes come into service.

August to October 2001
Modernisation of the bus fleet with the acquisition of 50 new buses.

November 2001
VGF orders 60 new low-floor trams.

17 December 2001
Newly constructed terminus at the border with the city of Offenbach opens.

5 May 2002
Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Ebbelwei Express.

11 to 13 June 2002
VDV (Association of German Transport Companies) holds its annual conference in Frankfurt am Main.

4 October 2002
‘Get on board’ advertising campaign starts.

6 December 2002
VGF enters into a strategic partnership with Hanauer Strassenbahn AG (HSB).

20 December 2002
VGF’s online ticket shop opens.

12 July 2003
East depot opens.

September 2003
Modernisation of the bus fleet, with 25 new buses acquired.

December 2003
Line 17 comes into service.

1 January 2004
Frankfurt am Main local train construction office becomes part of VGF.

13 March 2004
Opening of the redesigned ticket office on B level at Hauptwache.

19 April 2004
VGF becomes a rail transport company.

4 to 6 June 2004
First Frankfurt dragon boat festival.

31 May 2005
Twenty-fifth anniversary of the B route (underground line 4 from Seckbacher Landstrasse to Konstablerwache).

June 2005
VGF gets ready for the 2006 World Cup with the new stadium line coming into service for the Confederations Cup.

12 December 2005
Start of the Odenwald train operated by VIAS (50% owned by Rurtal-Bahn, 50% owned by VGF).

December 2005
Modernisation of the bus fleet with the acquisition of 25 new buses.

May 2006
VGF’s new Safety and Service Centre opens.

July 2006
VGF sees positive results from the World Cup, with the new operations and service strategy shown to be successful.

1 August 2006
VGF celebrates its tenth birthday.

7 September 2006
First even handcar trip through an underground tunnel in Germany.

September 2007
VGF restores a 50-year old L tram carriage to its former glory.

November 2006
VGF refurbishes the interiors of the new U5 underground trains to make them more passenger-friendly.

December 2006
VGF’s security operations celebrate their 25th anniversary.

5 February 2007
The Ebbelwei Express celebrates its 30th birthday.

March 2007
One year’s successful collaboration between VGF and OVB.

26 April 2007
The extended Ostbahnhof underground station opens, with a new 70-metre stretch coming into service.

31 May 2007
Fifteenth anniversary of the route between Zoo and Enkheim.

August 2007
VGF acquires 37 new buses built to the latest environmental standards.

March 2008
Forty-fifith anniversary of articulated buses in Frankfurt.

29 May 2008
New U5 underground trains introduced: in the following years, a total of 146 Flexity Swift vehicles will modernise the VGF fleet.

15 June 2008
Opening of the new Schäfflestrasse stop as an extension to the U4 line.

Summer 2008
Construction starts on new U8 and U9 underground lines towards Riedberg.

October 2008
Fortieth anniversary of local trains.

18 February 2009
One hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of electric trams in Frankfurt.

23 March 2009
Construction starts on the Frankfurter Bogen.

May 2009
Fiftieth anniversary of the Rebstock depot.

August 2009
Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Frankfurt am Main Transport Museum.

12 December 2010
New constructed stretches of the underground open in Riedberg (lines U8 and U9).

11 December 2011
New tram line 18 (Frankfurter Bogen) opens.

5 February 2012
Thirty-fifth anniversary of the Ebbelwei Express.

28 June 2013
Fifty years since Frankfurt’s first underground line was constructed.