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Berlin and Brandenburg plan U7 extension

Berliner U-Bahn

The heads of government of Berlin and Brandenburg have announced further steps to extend underground line 7 from Rudow to the capital's airport BER.

A benefit-cost analysis for the approximately eight-kilometre route will be commissioned shortly, announced Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey and Minister President Dietmar Woidke (both SPD) on Friday during a joint tour along the planned route.

Application for federal funding

Such an analysis of economic viability is a prerequisite for applying to the federal government for funding, according to both politicians. Once this planning step has been completed, which is expected around August or September, the funding application will be prepared, said Giffey. She hopes for a funding commitment from the federal government by the end of the year. The Berlin head of government put the cost of the project, which has been under discussion for some time, at between 811 and 890 million euros, depending on the route. About 600 million will be spent on the section of the route in the state of Brandenburg.

Woidke: "The project is of national importance"

Both states are lobbying the federal government to cover 90 per cent of the costs, not just 75 per cent as is usual for many transport projects. "The project is of national importance," Woidke said, explaining the demand.

Developing new residential and commercial areas

It will probably take 12 to 15 years before the underground extension is completed. Both politicians emphasised that the project was not only necessary to improve the connection to BER Airport. It is especially important to open up new residential and commercial areas with tens of thousands of residents and jobs and to organise climate-neutral mobility.

"The project is very important for the development of the metropolitan region," said Giffey. Woidke referred to the great social and economic dynamism in the region. "Now we have to keep pace with this dynamism in the expansion of the transport network and local public transport." There is no time to lose in this regard.

U7 longest underground line in Berlin

At more than 30 kilometres, the U7 is the longest underground line in Berlin. It runs between Rathaus Spandau and Rudow. For many years, an extension beyond the two terminus stations has been discussed. A so-called feasibility study on the project has been available for some time.

Further U-Bahn extensions possible

In their 2021 coalition agreement, the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party in Berlin had agreed to investigate a total of five possible underground extensions. In addition to the U7 from Rudow to BER and from Spandau to Heerstraße, the U8 to the Märkische Viertel, the U2 to Pankow-Kirche and the U3 to Mexikoplatz are under consideration. The first project to be implemented is likely to be the U3 in Berlin's southwest. Construction could begin here in 2026.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 3 February 2023
Last updated: 3 February 2023

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