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In and around Hamburg

Out and about barrier free

We are working every day to increase the options for barrier-free mobility. We have compiled information here for you on route planning, buying tickets or our mobility expert. You can also find comprehensive information in our practical brochure  Barrierefrei unterwegs (4.16 MB) (in German), available in all our service centres.

Plan your journey in detail

Disabled persons who are severely handicapped (code G), helpless (code H), deaf (code Gl) or blind (code Bl) can obtain on request from the pension office a supplementary sheet for their severely handicapped person’s pass which is orange-coloured and bears a sticker. This entitles the holder to travel on public transport all over Germany free of charge (not on long-distance trains). Please enquire at your pension office about the self-participation amount for the supplementary sheet. Which pension office is responsible in your case depends on where you live:

The supplementary sheet is free of charge for those with code H and Bl in their pass, and in addition if you are in receipt of certain types of regular financial support for your living costs, e.g.:

  • basic subsistence income (Grundsicherung) for jobseekers according to Book II of the Social Code (SGB II)
  • social assistance (Hilfe zum Lebensunterhalt) according to Chapter 3 of Book XII of the Social Code (SGB XII);
  • basic subsistence income (Grundsicherung) for the elderly and for persons with reduced earning capacity under Chapter 4 of Book XII of the Social Code (SGB XII)
  • social education assistance according to Book VIII of the Social Code Book VIII - Child and Youth Welfare (SGB VIII)
  • benefits under § 27a and d of the Federal Law on War Pensions – (BVG)
  • benefits according to §2 of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz (AsylbLG)

The severely handicapped person’s pass and the supplementary sheet with a valid sticker entitle the holder to use all hvv services as well as – after prior checking – to use the ride-sharing minibus MOIA free of charge. Simply enquire about the conditions directly at the transport operator concerned.

Use of the 1st class carriages on the regional train services  RB/RE is only free of charge if you have the endorsement “1st Class” in your disabled person’s pass.

Accompanying person

Severely handicapped persons who have an endorsement in their pass stating that they are entitled to take an accompanying person with them (code B) can take such a person with them free of charge – this is also the case if the severely handicapped person does not have the supplementary sheet with a valid sticker.

The timetable information offers you various options which enable you to fit the search for connection information to your specific needs.

Personalized timetables and timetables for a certain stop/station in Braille can be ordered under 040/19 449. If you have blind or partially sighted relatives, friends and acquaintances, please tell them about this service, which is free of charge.

We inform you in real time with our lift overview about the current availability and operating status of the Lifts on the hvv.

On our website page Timetables (in German only) you will find diagrams of the stops/stations, integrated information about lifts, aids to boarding trains and all you need to know about transfers to bus lines.

At most stations there is flooring with high-contrast guide strips consisting of grooved or ribbed plates. These can be felt with a cane and are intended for orientation and warning. You can find these strips on the platforms and in some cases in the station entry halls. At some stations the paths for changing train lines are marked with such guide strips.

At the U- and S-Bahn stations which have been converted to be barrier-free, guide strips with rounded knobs which can be easily felt will progressively also be fitted. These show the way from the ribbed plates to the information and emergency call pillar.

Most platform edges in the U- and S-Bahn stations are marked with a broad white warning strip. At regional rail stations there is often a narrow white safety line painted on the platform to mark off the area at the platform edge where it is dangerous to stand. Both markings are for your safety and may only be crossed when the train has already come to a halt at the platform. The doors in the U- and S-Bahn trains are easy to find due to their high-contrast and/or tactile design.

Additional orientation aids are given by acoustic signals: tones signalling that the doors are about to close, announcements from the station staff and in the train announcing which station is next. As a rule, in the U- and S-Bahn, these also identify on which side of the train the doors will open.

Please observe the indications on the train destination displays on the platforms. The electronic displays also show information about departure times, changes of timetable and alterations to normal services. In the U- and S-Bahn, monitors will inform you about which station comes next, possible timetable changes and interruptions to services. All regional trains are equipped with an electronic station display system.

We work in close cooperation with the police and the fire services. When we refurbish a station, it is crucial that it is well lit and laid out so that everything can easily be seen. We make sure that the materials and the design of our constructions come up to the highest safety standards.

Safety on the bus

If danger threatens, if you are being molested or property is being damaged, please tell our staff. They can intervene immediately and radio for help. Many buses are also fitted with surveillance cameras. In an emergency. the video images can often be directly transmitted from the bus to the traffic control centre and followed there. This enables us to appraise situations better and to react faster and more appropriately with emergency measures.

Safety on the train

Our modern underground and rapid transit carriages are open to the next carriage or have large windows between them. That gives you a clear view through the entire train, eye contact with other passengers and you can feel more secure if you can see what is going on. As well as this all underground and rapid transit trains have surveillance cameras and there is an intercom system next to the doors to speak directly to the driver. If an incident occurs, you should inform the driver straight away so that they can radio for help immediately. In critical situations call the police (110) or the fire brigade or ambulance service (112): mobile phones have reception in all the tunnels.

Keeping an eye on things 

Surveillance cameras allow our specially trained personnel to keep an eye on what may be happening on the station platforms. Video material can be used as evidence in court. If there is nothing suspicious on them, the videotapes are wiped clean.
Security guards 
More than 1,000 train attendants are there for your protection on the rapid transit and regional rail lines - day and night, around the clock. On regional trains RB/RE the conductors and the drivers are there to help you if they are needed, too.


There are SOS telephones on all station platforms in the rapid transit network. If you need to, you can get help directly here. As soon as you have pressed the emergency button you are visible on the cameras in the network control centre and our staff there can see what is going on. Even if it is only some information you need – we are glad to help. The emergency call pillars on the U­Bahn platforms are silver­coloured with a red shining top. In cases of danger to life and limb you can stop underground trains entering and leaving the station by pulling down the emergency lever, e.g. if persons are on the tracks.

Emergency brake on the train

If the emergency brake in the train is activated, the underground and rapid transit trains will automatically continue till the next station. Help can be given more simply and swiftly there. If the train stops between stations, the door lock can be released by activating the emergency brake. Only get off the train after being instructed to do so by the train staff. Good to know: all the underground tunnels have exit points which are clearly marked.

Tips about our means of conveyance

Low-floor buses

In Hamburg AB, the buses used are low-floor buses with boarding ramps and kneeling technology to facilitate boarding for passengers This is also the case with the night bus lines. Most of the services in the surrounding region also run low-floor buses. All low-floor buses are indicated in the timetables with a wheelchair symbol.

In contrast to high floor buses (step entry buses), the floor of the vehicle is lower: there are no steps to negotiate in the boarding and disembarking areas. That means that e.g. walking-impaired passengers and passengers with mobility aids can board easily and conveniently. Wheelchair users can enter the bus via a c. 1 metre wide ramp. Every bus has a designated floor space for mobility aids (prams, mobility scooters, walkers and wheelchairs).

Getting on and off with the ramp

It is best to wait near the bus stop pole. Always use the middle doors to board the bus, make sure that the bus driver notices you or press the button provided for the purpose when you get on or off. On the outside, this is on the right next to the middle doors. Inside the bus, you can find the button on the driver’s side next to the designated space for passengers with mobility aids. Our staff will help you to board using the ramp as soon as the other passengers have got on or off. The fold-out ramps are designed to bear a load of up to 350 kg.

The right place in the bus

The designated space for mobility aids is normally across from the middle doors. It is also equipped with a baffle surface against which passengers with wheelchairs should place themselves facing away from the direction of travel. Please make sure that the wheelchair is securely positioned so that you do not pose a danger to yourself or other passengers.

According to the German Road Traffic Licensing Act, buses are permitted to carry more than one wheelchair. The first priority for the transport operator is however the safety of passengers. It may therefore happen in individual cases that no further passengers with wheelchairs are allowed to get on. Our bus drivers are experienced and able to judge whether this is permissible depending on how full the bus is.

Getting on to the platform with no need to climb stairs

All barrier free stations have either ramps or lifts which are suitable or mobility aids (prams, mobility scooters, walkers and wheelchairs). You can find practical advice in the  USAR-Plan mit Einstieghilfen (331.78 KB)  (in German).

Lift equipment

  • The lift cabin size and clear door width (at least 90 cm) are sufficient to normally allow use by wheelchairs without any problems.  
  • The lift controls are nearly always positioned so that they can be operated by passengers in wheelchairs. In many cases they are additionally marked in Braille. In many lifts the level stops are announced and displayed.
  • Entering and leaving the lift without needing to change direction is permitted by a so-called through-loading system with a door on two sides. Lifts are installed as through-loading systems wherever possible.
  • If you need help, please use the emergency call function in the lift cabin. As a rule, you do not need to speak directly into the intercom.  

Lift operating status

You can infrom yourself in real time online about the operating status of lifts. If you are not able to find the information you are looking for there, ring 040/19 449. Our staff will be happy to help you.  

Barrier free boarding

There are various different ways in which passengers with mobility aids can be helped to board the rapid transport and regional trains. Details of this are given on the following pages.


All U-Bahn stations which have been converted for barrier free accessibility have partly or completely raised platforms to facilitate boarding. The access height is normally 5 cm. The width of the gap depends on the operative and technical tolerances in the interplay between the carriage and the platform: as a rule this is between 5 and 10 cm. 

The barrier-free boarding areas in the U-Bahn stations are designated by means of pram and wheelchair symbols as well as a chequerboard pattern on the platform. On the trains, some of the doors also have the chequerboard pattern as a sticker. These door entry areas do not have any stanchions which could hinder boarding. The coordination of the chequerboard pattern on the platform and the door shows you where you can board barrier-free.

Our tip: always board the train in the designated marked area where you also need to get off again in a raised area of the platform!   


As a rule, the access height which needs to be negotiated is maximum 6 cm. It is only at the stations served by the S5 between Fischbek and Agathenburg that there are access heights of up to 26 cm. It is not possible to raise the platforms at these stations since they are also use by goods trains with overhanging loads. The access step at Stade is also maximum 6 cm. That is also the case at Buxtehude for S-Bahn trains which start and finish there. All S-Bahn trains have ramps and large multi-purpose compartments.

Ramps can in principle only be used at the first doors behind the driver’s cabin.

When you wish to board, wait where the very front of the train will stop, check the indications on the train destination display and the train stopping markings on the stop signs or the signs on the platforms.

  • Short trains (3 carriages), full-length trains (6 carriages)) und long trains (9 carriages) have in many cases different stopping points and corresponding stop signs. If necessary, make contact with our drivers by knocking on the door of the driver’s cabin.
  • When the train comes into the station, signal clearly to the driver.
  • Our train drivers will then fold out the ramp directly behind the driver’s cabin for you. Then you can roll directly into the carriage.
  • Say where you want to get off as soon as you enter the carriage. Our drivers will help you in the same way when you get off as when you got on.  

Hamburg Airport can be reached barrier free by S-Bahn. S1 trains from the city centre split in two at Ohlsdorf station: the first three carriages go to Hamburg Airport, the rear three to  Poppenbüttel. Passengers who want to continue to Poppenbüttel need to change to the last three carriages at Ohlsdorf – passengers in wheelchairs should go to the front carriage of the rear part of the train. Our drivers will help you to do this. In the other direction, to the city centre, the short trains returning from Hamburg Airport (at the head of the train) and from Poppenbüttel (the rear part of the train) will be coupled together again at Ohlsdorf.  Passengers in wheelchairs coming from  Poppenbüttel who want to continue with the S1 need to change to the new front of the train at Ohlsdorf if they need a ramp to get off later.  

S1 trains reverse direction in Blankenese station. Please change to the new front of the train there.

Unfortunately, no barrier free boarding is possible at the S5 stations Neukloster, Dollern and Agathenburg.

You can reach almost everywhere you want to go in Hamburg easily, safely and without hassle by bus or train. The hvv and the team at the Hamburg Working Group for Handicapped Persons (Hamburger Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft für behinderte Menschen (LAG) e.V.) can look back on a long history of cooperation. We are happy to be able to offer a wide range of complimentary training courses dealing with how you can best use hvv services.

Free training courses

You can reach almost everywhere you want to go in Hamburg easily, safely and without hassle by bus or train. The hvv and the team at the Hamburg Working Group for Handicapped Persons (Hamburger Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft für behinderte Menschen (LAG) e.V.) can look back on a long history of cooperation. We are happy to be able to offer a wide range of complimentary training courses dealing with how you can best use hvv services.

At your individually chosen venue the hvv Mobility Advisory Service for Senior Citizens can give you a summary of useful information about using bus and rail services in a presentation lasting about 90 minutes. We are assisted in this by senior citizens who already have long experience of using hvv services:

Getting around safely on the hvv with a walkerHow can I get on and off the bus safely? What should I do while on the bus? How can I plan my journey from home to avoid any hassle?
Travelling safely and finding your way aroundWhat amenities are there for my safety and how can I take advantage of them?  How can I find my way around when travelling and at the stations? Where can I get further information and help?
Tickets, prices and using the ticket machineWhat tickets are there? How do I use the ticket machine? When do I need supplementary tickets?

We offer you the option of organizing a group event at your retirement home, a church facility, your local meeting place or similar premises. Alternatively, we can hold an event at our seminar rooms in the city centre.

Our team will be happy to hear from you by phone under 040/68 98 98 68 or by email (in German).

In these training units, which are free of charge, we bring along our bus and offer hands-on practical exercises for getting on and off safely. All participants can spontaneously try out tips and tricks for themselves and take as much time as they need to ask questions about barrier-free access or safety precautions.


  • Friday, 19th of April, from 9 am to 12 pm
  • Uetersen Marktplatz


  • Wednesday, 24th of April, from14 pm to 17pm
  • Henstedt-Ulzburg / Nettoparkplatz (Hamburger Str.)


  • Thursday, 25th of April, from10 to 12 pm
  • Itzehoe ZOB


  • Tuesday, 7th of May, from 10 am to 12 pm
  • Halstenbek


  • Monday, 13rd of May, from 10 am to 13 Uhr
  • Glinde / Sönke-Nissen-Allee


  • Dienstag, 28th of May, from14 pm to 16:30 pm
  • Norderstedt / Rathausplatz


  • Sunday, 2nd of June, from10 am to 18 pm
  • Museum Kiekeberg


  • Sunday, 16th of June, from 11 am to 17 pm
  • Kösterstiftung (Barmbek) Meisenstraße


  • Friday, 28th of June, from 10 am to 13 pm
  • Bergedorf am Johann-Adolph-Hasse-Platz / Church (Petri und Pauli)

For more information, our team will be happy to hear from you by phone under 040/68 98 98 68 or by email (in German).

The services offered by the LAG are targeted at handicapped persons with disabilities affecting their mobility, orientation, perception and/or communication. Together with the trainers, you can explore and expand your individual options for using buses and the U- and S-Bahn in Hamburg. Besides one-to-one training, there are presentations for groups giving an introduction to the barrier-free aspects of travelling on Hamburg’s public transport.

You can find more information under Hamburger Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft für behinderte Menschen (LAG) e.V. (in German).

The hvv Mobility Advisory Service for senior citizens holds individual training sessions lasting about 90 minutes, giving useful tips on how to use the hvv App. The points covered include how to plan barrier-free routes for your journeys and how to buy your tickets.

After an introduction to the themes, these points are covered in practical exercises in small groups. We are supported here by senior citizens who give tips from their own experience.

The next dates 2024

The following Fridays from 14.00 in our seminar rooms in Altona:

  • 17th of May
  • 21st of June

If you would like to know more, we will be happy to answer your questions by phone under 040/68 98 98 68 or by email (both in German).