What Munich Does Well in Urban Mobility
Strong infrastructure, like car-free zones and connected, maintained roadways, helped Munich rise in the Index rankings. In February 2023, the city banned diesel vehicles from entering an expanded radius in the city center. Munich’s plan to have 80% of roadways reserved for bicycles, public transport, and electric vehicles by 2035 helped land it in the top 10 of the sustainable mobility sub-index. Munich possesses excellent supply chain infrastructure that attracts large manufacturing companies. In April 2023, one large mobility technology provider expanded its manufacturing facility in Munich to meet more demand for locomotives.
The Bavarian capital maintains a robust multimodal public transit system, with ample operating hours, affordable fares, and short transit times. Affordable transit fares are, in part, due to the national government’s new Deutschland Ticket, which lets commuters use any and all local mass transit offerings for roughly $52 per month. In August 2023, the European Investment Bank, with other financial institutions, provided about $2 billion in credit for Munich’s S-Bahn rail system to add 90 new trains.
Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores
Challenges and Opportunities for Munich’s Transportation System
Munich's public transit system has been slow to implement autonomous trains in the city's U-bahn or S-bahn, but the city is exploring a ridepool system powered by automated buses in partnership with the University of Stuttgart.
Munich’s airport serves a high number of international destinations, and yet the airport suffers from lower international passenger volumes compared to leading European cities. Several airlines began offering new international flights in 2023 to locations like Mexico City to Shanghai and Beijing.
Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score
How Munich Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility
Munich can make its streets more walkable by increasing the number of car-free zones to encourage pedestrian travel without fear of road incidents. The city’s plans commit to increasing pedestrian space by the end of 2023 and envision a car-free “old town” neighborhood. In addition, the city should promote the 15-minute city concept, where key necessities like work, healthcare, and education are available within a 15-minute walk, cycle, or public transit ride from anywhere in the city, by introducing required daily services to previously underserved parts of the city. City plans currently envision new neighborhoods that emphasize short trip distances.
Munich's EV charging network is still developing. To offer a world-class charging network like its peer, Amsterdam, it would need to accelerate the deployment of charging stations to multiply its charging station density by fourfold. The city can target this gap by increasing government-backed investments in public charging stations and subsidizing at home station implementation. The Munich government reported in 2023 current projects to build charging points in residential districts.