How many passengers use Vienna’s U-bahn (underground railway) every year? Sh*t tons, apparently!

Josefstädter Straße U-bahn station in Vienna

If you ever take Vienna’s U-bahn system (ie: Vienna’s underground railway), especially at rush hour when trains are packed, you will realize quickly it has to be used by many millions of people every year.

Especially in areas around the city’s tourist spots, or near the city’s main shopping streets.

How many passengers use Vienna-s U-bahn every year though?

And are the number of annual passengers on Vienna’s trains decreasing or increasing every year, as city officials try to push the public away from air polluting cars, and into more environmentally-friendly public transportation instead.

How many passengers use Vienna’s U-bahn (underground railway) system?

Special Note: The German term ‘U-bahn‘ is a shortened version of Untergrundbahn, which means ‘underground railway’.

If you ask a Viennese where to find an underground train station, you can ask for an ‘U-Bahnhof‘.

As for how many passengers use Vienna’s U-bahn system every year, according to the City of Vienna and Wiener Linien, the folks that run the city’s underground train system, it is a shit ton.


City of Vienna statistics directly compiled from Wiener Linien information

In 2019, the last ‘normal year’ from which statistics have been released, the number of passengers on Vienna’s underground train system stood at almost 460 million.

That was slightly down from the 463 million in 2018, but up 20 million from 2014.

In other words, the number of passengers on Vienna’s U-bahn system is increasing almost every year.

RELATED: How many people use Vienna’s trams every year? Millions and millions…

Vienna did, of course, see a record reduction of passengers on the U-bahn in 2020, which also caused Wiener Linien to lose tens of millions of euros in revenue.

This was due to the Austrian government’s Covid-19 lockdowns, and the banning of international tourists from Austria for much of 2020.

This continued on into 2021, another year in which Wiener Linien experienced low passenger numbers.

Official U-bahn statistics for 2020 show a 42% reduction in the number of passengers on Vienna’s U-bahn. Down from 459.8 million in 2019 to just 265 million in 2020.

Sadly, that is what happens when a government goes batshit crazy over a virus 99.7% of people that contract it survive, and thus decides to lockdown the country’s borders, mandate people stay in their homes, and require the public to wear suffocating FFP2 masks on all forms of public transportation.

(Yes, I’m still bitter at how damaging the Austrian government’s Covid-19 restrictions were to so many of us).

With passenger numbers on Vienna’s U-bahn system in 2022 now rapidly increasing again, due to international tourists being allowed into Austria, and lockdowns a thing of the past (for now, at least!), getting on an underground train in the city is almost back to ‘normal’.

In coming years, unless another ‘pandemic’ sets the Austrian government back on its path of “panic, panic, panic”, those numbers are likely to continue to rise.

Check out the video below to see what kind of experience you can expect on Vienna’s U-bahn. It really is a superb system.


About Michelle Topham

I'm a journalist, and the founder of Oh My Vienna. I have been living in Vienna since 2016 as an immigrant, because 'expat' is just a fancy word that means exactly that.