Why Some Vehicles Had No AC During Heatwave? Wiener Linien Responds.

Why Some Vehicles Had No AC During Heatwave? Wiener Linien Responds.

Air Conditioning Still Not Standard on All Vienna Public Transportation Vehicles

In the wake of July’s heatwave, many Vienna residents have taken to social media to complain about public transportation’s lack of air conditioning.

U6 metro in AKH station. Photo Alion Çaçi

One The International reader wrote, “I almost fainted on the U6 today. It was so hot, and there was no air conditioning.” Another user said, “I almost faint every time.” The International contacted Wiener Linien, the public transportation company in Vienna, for comment.

A spokesperson for Wiener Linien said 3 out of 4 trips with the company are now air-conditioned. The bus fleet of Wiener Linien and the entire line U6 are already 100% air-conditioned. Regarding the tram, just under 60% of all trips are currently air-conditioned, and 2 out of 3 trips are air-conditioned in the entire subway operation.

The spokesperson said that non-air-conditioned vehicles cannot be retrofitted due to the size and weight of the units. The vehicles were not designed to carry the additional weight of air conditioning units or have the space.

For example, a single air conditioning unit weighs about 400 kilograms on a tram. Six units would have to be installed on a long tram, which would mean an additional weight of almost 2.5 tons. In addition, many other technical components are already on the roof of low-floor vehicles. There is no room for another device, such as an air conditioning system.

However, rail vehicles have a very long service life. They are often in service for 30 years or more. Wiener Linien does not want to throw away fully functional vehicles simply because they do not have air conditioning. Therefore, the conversion to only having air-conditioned vehicles takes a little longer for the tram and subway than for the buses.

The spokesperson said that Wiener Linien is aware of the complaints about the lack of air conditioning and is working to improve the situation. The company is planning to purchase more air-conditioned vehicles and is also looking into ways to make the existing vehicles cooler, such as by installing fans.

Nevertheless, when clarified that the complaints were not regarding vehicles without air conditioning, but vehicles with air conditioning that are not turned on, Wiener Linien stopped replying.

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