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In and around Hamburg

Mobility-impaired passengers

Our aim is to lift as many restrictions as possible and offer you barrier-free travel on our services.

In the following sections we have compiled important information for you on barrier-free transport in the hvv network. These details will help you to reach your destination safely and without difficulty on our services.

Low-floor buses

All bus services in Central Hamburg (Hamburg AB) are provided by low-floor vehicles. To ease boarding and exiting by mobility-impaired passengers such buses can be lowered and tilted on one side towards the kerb.
Low-floor vehicles with ramps also operate on almost all bus services in the region bordering Central Hamburg (Hamburg AB). Each of these buses has storage space for prams and wheelchairs.

Boarding and exiting via the ramp

The best place to wait for your bus is close to the bus-stop signpost. When wishing to board please alert the driver by hand signal or by pressing the designated button. You will find this button on the right side of the central doorway; inside the bus it is located in the back wall-panel of the storage space for prams and wheelchairs. Your driver will ensure that you board or leave the bus safely via the ramp as soon as all other passengers have done so. The fold-out ramps have a maximum design load capacity of 350 kg.

The right position on board the bus

As a rule the special storage space is located directly in front of you when you board via the central doorway. Here you will find a padded backrest against which you can back up your wheelchair against the direction of travel. Always ensure that your wheelchair is positioned safely so as to prevent risk to yourself or other passengers.
As many wheelchairs or prams as possible may be transported on board our bus services. This depends on the space available in each case; your driver has the final say and will instruct you accordingly. 

This section provides general information on barrier-free travel around the regional- and rapid-transit rail network.
In addition, our German-language web pages contain more specific details on conditions at the various regional- or rapid-transit rail stations and at selected points of interest. You will also find schematic diagrams, plans, maps and photos in these pages; they will help you to locate station entrances or exits, toilet facilities, stairways, escalators and lifts. You will also obtain an overview of platform conditions when boarding a train. Stations at which you can interchange between rail and bus services are described in detail, as are barrier-free facilities and contact points at selected points of interest. To find out more simply click the following German-language link Haltestellen und besondere Orte and select the station or point of interest for which you require information.

Stairway-free access to the platform

All barrier-free stations are equipped with ramps or lifts. Our German-language plan “Einstiegshilfen“ provides an overview of barrier-free access at stations and stops in the hvv network.

Lift layout

  • Lift cabins or doors (at least 90 cm in width) are generally large enough to enable unhindered access by wheelchair.
  • Control buttons inside the lift are arranged in such a way that almost all wheelchair users can reach them without difficulty. Braille instructions are provided in some lifts.
  • Whenever possible our lifts allow you to roll your wheelchair in and out without the need to change direction. 
  • In certain cases voice messages announce each level at which the lift will stop.
  • If you require assistance please make use of the emergency intercom installed in each cabin.

Operating status of the lifts

You can find out whether the lifts are currently working via our live info here. If you cannot find the information you are looking for here, please phone the hvv Infoline under 040/19 449 an. Our staff will be pleased to help you.

Barrier-free boarding

Various measures have been implemented for the safety and convenience of wheelchair users when boarding rapid-transit- or regional rail services. You can find details in the following sections. Due to factors such as wheel- or track abrasion and suspension fluctuation the vertical step between platform and railcar doorway may be approximately 2–3 cm lower than the maximum value indicated in the text.

U-Bahn (Metro/Underground Rail)

Platforms at barrier-free U-Bahn stations have either been completely raised or partly raised with humps to help you to board more easily. In the case of older rolling stock, the boarding height between platform and doors is maximum 8 cm; in more recent models 5 cm or less. The gap between the platform and the train may vary depending on the structural design of the station and the type and condition of the carriage. It is generally approximately 10-14 cm with older models and 7–11 cm with newer ones. Boarding areas are clearly indicated by colour coding as well as by wheelchair and pram pictograms.
In all cases please board within the designated area to ensure that you will also exit onto a raised platform section at your destination!

S-Bahn (Local and regional Rapid-transit Rail)

When you board more-recently commissioned S-Bahn railcars the vertical step between platform and doorway amounts to a maximum height of 6 cm; in the case of older vehicles this rises to a maximum 16 cm. The only exceptions are on Line S3 at stations between Fischbek and Agathenburg where you will face a vertical step of up to 26 cm. Platforms on this line section cannot be raised as freight trains with protruding loads pass through the stations in question.
All S-Bahn railcars have large, multi-purpose compartments. Wheelchair users can board or leave the train via ramps. Please note that the use of ramps is only permitted at the first doorway behind the front driver`s cockpit. We regret that barrier-free access onto or from trains on Line S3 is not possible at the stations Neukloster, Dollern and Agathenburg.
Please alert the driver by hand signal when the train is approaching. He will then put out the ramp for you directly behind his cockpit. In a straight line roll your wheelchair into the railcar. At this point please tell the driver at which station you intend to leave the train.

Orientation aids for blind or visually-impaired passengers

Guidance systems for the visually impaired have been installed at certain stations; tactile paving-strips with brightly-coloured bordering alert visually-impaired passengers and enable them to proceed in the correct direction with the aid of their white stick. Tactile paving is fitted into platform surfaces and in some station concourses.
Detailed text information on such stations is provided in our German-language web page Haltestellen und besondere Orte; please click the link “Skizzenbeschreibungen“.
Most platform edges at U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations are marked with a wide warning strip. Platforms at many regional rail stations display a white safety strip which clearly indicates the danger zone.
Both these markings are for your safety; do not cross beyond them unless your train is already standing at the platform.
Acoustic signals also help you to find your way around; instantly-recognizable tones to alert you that train doors are about to close, for example, and announcements by station staff or on board the train, the latter informing you of the next station at which it will halt. On S-Bahn and regional R-Bahn rail services the side of the train from which to exit is also announced.
Doorways on U-Bahn or S-Bahn rail services are easy to find; the high-contrast design, brightly-coloured direction arrows and clearly-distinguishable rubber-lip edging all help you to locate the doorway.

Orientation aids for passengers with impaired hearing

When on the platform please observe all text instructions presented on the overhead destination display. More recent electronic display units also provide information on actual departure times, timetable changes and service disruption. On-board Infoscreen television is installed in U-Bahn railcars; please check the screen for details on any timetable changes or service disruption and the next station at which the train will halt. Electronic display in all more-recent S-Bahn railcars inform you in advance of each station at which the train will halt.

Personal safety and security

  • In case of emergency you will find a help-point intercom on all U-Bahn and S-Bahn platforms at which you can request assistance. Any general information you may require is also provided here!
  • Spoken communication with the driver via intercom is possible on all trains.
  • On board regional rail services the train conductor or driver will gladly provide advice or assistance whenever you face a problem or emergency.

All HADAG ferries have passenger areas with barrier-free access. On top of this, many ferries also have barrier-free toilets. Wheelchair users can unfortunately not be taken on Ferry Line 75 as well as on the ferry between Cranz and Blankenese-Linie, since the piers at Cranz and Neuenfelde can only be accessed via stairs. Please take adequate precautionary measures yourself so that you are positioned stably while on board! 

For information on barrier-free travel on HADAG ferries, call HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst AG, Telephone 040/31 17 07-0.

The ferries dock at floating pontoons which are connected to the shore  by access bridges. Please remember that the slope of these bridges varies according to the water level of the Elbe at high and low tide. The gap and the vertical difference between the pontoon and the ferry are bridged using a ramp (120 or 180 cm wide). Make sure to align your wheelchair perfectly straight when you move onto the extended ramp! If needed, open the door by pressing the door opening button. To disembark, press the stop button near the door or use the intercom. When the ferries are very crowded (this is particularly the case on weekends in summer), access to the ferries at some piers will be regulated by our security personnel. In this case, speak directly to the personnel on the pontoons to facilitate your boarding.