Dachau: Urban cable car as supplement to public transport?

The large number of commuters cause traffic on roads and rails around Munich, regularly pushing the system to its limits. To counteract traffic problems, the city of Dachau is considering an inter-community cable car connection. 

PTV's experts worked with the city to consider the potential of a future infrastructure project.

Conducting a feasibility study

Project description

Dachau and the region north of Munich have made it a goal to reduce road traffic and convey more passengers with public transport and low-emissions vehicles. To do this, new direct connections should be created in local public transport and existing connections improved; new mobility solutions should also be evaluated. PTV Transport Consult was commissioned to examine and evaluate the deployment of a cable car system from and to Dachau.

Determination of potential demand

In a first step, the potential demand for five corridors between Dachau and neighboring communities and cities was surveyed. The idea was to answer the question whether there would be sufficient passengers for a cable car system to justify its construction and operation.

Step 1: Possible routes

The consulting team laid out a rough line for each of the corridors, with possible start, intermediate, and final stops, taking into consideration the building density and land use. The start and end were the train station in Dachau and a connection point to the subway or local train outside the city. Here, attention was paid to the goals in the region for commuting and recreational traffic.

Step 2: Detailed planning and evaluation

For the promising corridor from Dachau via Karlsfeld to Moosach, the PTV experts fine-tuned planning and assessment in a second step. To examine the line in more detail, the area surveyed was subdivided into four evaluation zones. Within each evaluation zone, various possible line variants were formulated in order to connect the relevant destinations with one another sensibly. Then the individual partial lines were evaluated. Evaluation criteria here were the exploitation potential of the cable car, the connection possibilities to the existing public transport network, possible conflicts, and the anticipated costs to build a cable car.


The examination demonstrated that a cable car system in the Dachau region has significant potential as a form of public transport in the dense metropolitan area. Especially on the routes most in demand, a cable car could efficiently complement the existing public transport system and provide significant new transport capabilities. The relatively low speeds of the cable car are not necessarily a disadvantage here. The independent line would guarantee an interruption-free trip, which would make for attractive travel times. However, with a cable car system, the city would be breaking new ground in urban transport planning. In addition to a lack of experiential values from practice, there are legal uncertainties as well and public acceptance issues.


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