Saturday, 9 October 2010
A splendid example of the best public transport information!
You may go the Salzburg for the scenery, the magnificent architecture or to worship at the shrine of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You may even nip up the road to visit Aldolf Hitler's mountain hideaway at Berchtesgaden. What is certain is that you will have no difficulty in finding your way around by public transport, thanks to the excellent timetable book and map.
The book - priced at one euro - is approx 300 pages stuffed with timetables and other useful information, including "Volldampf" (steam railway), "WolfgangseeSchifffart" (boat trip) and even "nostalgischen Obusses" (preserved trolleybi)! The frequent city service timetables take a bit of getting used to as they are presented quite differently from what we get in GB.
The hours are along the top, the minutes read down and the shading shows when the times move into the next hour. With practice, this is a much better way of interpreting "repeat pattern" services! And the maps; wow ...
Detailed country services map, city services showing all stops overlaid on a fully detailed street map and an enlarged diagram of the city centre. You simply cannot go wrong. The City fares structure is based on a flat fare with heavily promoted day, weekly, monthly and annual tickets - couldn't be simpler; even if (like fbb) you last studied German at "O" level half a century ago!
So how does this compare with GB?
It doesn't, not in the slightest. Saltzburg is (very roughly) the size of Northampton, where after a short-run blaze of timetable and cartographical glory a year or so ago, life reverts to a search for Stagecoach and First Bus leaflets with the addition of some County Council publications for tendered routes. The Northamptonshire website does offer a comprehensive timetable set, but, as ever, not much use for browsing, for network coverage or to "educate" the newcomer. You have to know what you want before you look for it!
Salzburg 10 out of 10, Northampton an grudging 2 out of 10.
And Salzburg has superb trolleybi!