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Corporate history

Corporate history


Opening of the Rössli tram routes belonging to the privately owned “Zürcher Strassenbahn AG” (Zurich Tram Ltd) (Tiefenbrunnen–Bellevue–Paradeplatz–Stockgasse and Helmhaus–Paradeplatz–Sihlfeld Cemetery)


Opening of the first electric tram route belonging to the privately owned “Elektrische Strassenbahn Zürich/ESZ” (Bellevue–Kreuzplatz–Burgwies)


The city of Zurich buys out the “Elektrische Strassenbahn Zürich/ESZ” and sets up a communally owned operation, “Städtische Strassenbahn Zürich/St. St. Z”


Takeover of the “Zürcher Strassenbahn AG” by the city of Zurich


Takeover of various privately owned tram companies by the city of Zurich


Introduction of route numbering


Opening of the first motorised bus route (Utobrücke–S chmiede Wiedikon–Albisriederplatz–Nordbrücke–Rigiplatz)
The “Kraftwagenbetrieb der Städtischen Strassenbahn Zürich” is amalgamated with the trams as a special company working for its own account


Commissioning of the first quadruple-axle motorised bus (“Elephant”)


The city of Zurich acquires the two last privately owned tram companies, “Limmattal-Strassenbahn/LSB” and “Zürich–O erlikon–Seebach-Strassenbahn/ZOS”

Opening of the “Überland-Kraftwagenbetrieb” with the routes Dietikon–Schlieren–Weiningen, Höngg–Unterengstringen and Seebach–Glattbrugg


Bus operations are renamed “Autobusbetrieb der St. St. Z.”


Opening of the first trolleybus route (Bezirksgebäude–B ucheggplatz)


The St. St. Z. changes its name to “Verkehrsbetriebe der Stadt Zürich/VBZ”


First articulated motorised bus


First articulated trolleybus

Hagenholz bus depot opens


Highest number of staff: 2,741 employees


First articulated motorised coach


A proposal for an underground railway network is rejected by the voters of Zurich


New fare rates/weekly punch tickets are replaced by weekly printed tickets; towed carriages without conductors


Trolleybus and motorised bus routes become completely self-service; introduction of automatic ticket machines

Delivery of the Be 4/6 articulated motorised vehicles and introduction of double traction


Introduction of vehicle roof advertising


Tram routes become completely self-service

Opening of the new Hardau garage for motorised buses and trolleybuses


The radio control centre goes into operation


A proposal for an underground and suburban rail system is rejected by the voters of Zurich


Opening of a new central workshop in Zurich Altstetten


Commissioning of the new Be 4/6 articulated motorised vehicles, also known as “Tram 2000”

Extension of the number 4 tram route from the Hardturm stadium to Werdhölzli (first extension since 1954)


A petition for the promotion of public transport is accepted by voters together with a credit line of CHF 200 million


The company is renamed “Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich” (Zurich Public Transport) but is also known as “VBZ Züri-Linie” for PR and advertising purposes


Appointment of Zurich’s first female tram driver


Introduction of the 7/8-minute interval service on tram routes


Introduction of the “Regenbogenkarte” (monthly ticket valid for the entire urban network)

Opening of the “Belcafé” on the Bellevue island


Opening of the tram route extension to Schwamendingen and introduction of a new route concept

First regular taxi route (73) links the Friesenberg district to the city


100,000 sales mark for the “Regenbogenkarte” is exceeded


Introduction of the “Regenbogen 25” for young people

New services: district buses for routes 35, 37, 38, 79


Inauguration of the Zurich Tram Museum in the old Wartau tram depot

VBZ becomes Switzerland’s first transport system to equip 132 standard buses and 26 articulated buses with particle filters


The millionth district bus passenger

VBZ becomes a partner of the Zurich Transport Network (ZVV)

The first low-floor bus is presented to the press


The Heureka pilot project, a national research exhibition without a car park; information concept with special promotions and an extension of bus route number 89


The “lean” Züri-Linie: introduction of a cost-cutting concept designed to help the city’s strapped financial resources

Opening of the new “Silberwürfel” operations and administrative centre in Altstetten


The “lean” Züri-Linie bears fruit: VBZ cuts total costs by CHF 5.7 million over the previous year and reduces its debt to the city by CHF 10.7 million

In cooperation with the Tages-Anzeiger, VBZ starts offering a night bus service


“züri mobil”, a scheme enabling travellers to combine public transport with car rental, is now offered by VBZ


VBZ faces competition: three routes put up for tender go to a private bidder.

The “Regenbogentram” (Rainbow Tram) tests the interior of the future. The majority of the 3,000 passenger feedback responses are positive


VBZ goes online:


Tram route 11 extended to the Messe/Hallenstadion

Trolleybus route 33 extended to the Tiefenbrunnen station


Strike narrowly averted, negotiations with the union, foundation of the “Groupe de Réflexion” to work out a proposal acceptable to all parties


New bus route concept in the Limmattal with coordinated connections to and from suburban line stations

20 Minuten, a free newspaper, available in trams and trolleybuses


Delivery of the first of the new “Cobra” generation trams

A prototype tram (“Sänfte” – “smooth runner”) goes into operation (tram converted at the company’s own workshops to feature a low floor)

Complete restoration of the “Märlitram” (fairytale tram)


75 years of bus service: huge jubilee festival at the Hardau bus depot

City councillor Andres Türler becomes new Head of the Department of Industrial Operations for the city of Zurich

Purchase of 40 new standard, ten articulated and eight local-route buses; all vehicles feature low floors


Swiss premiere: since November, ten new articulated buses with a length of 18.75 metres are operating in regular scheduled service

The “Cargotram” service provided by ERZ and VBZ for the disposal of bulky items and scrap metal wins the innovation award for public transport

The entire VBZ network is equipped for daily scheduled service with automated switch plates and line coding


Following the bus service in the year 2002, the tram division, route network and marketing are awarded the Quality Seal II from the Swiss Tourism Association

Track renewal and construction of new waiting shelters at Bahnhofplatz

VBZ receives the licence for construction and operation of the Zurich West tram route


Conversion of 23 “Tram 2000” cars into “smooth runners” is completed


VBZ presents a study on the development of the route network through 2025 Commissioning of the 1st phase of the Glattalbahn light rail line with an extension of the number 11 tram route from Messe/Hallenstadion to Auzelg


International conference “Cities and Transportation” sponsored by ETH and VBZ to commemorate 125 years of public transport in Zurich

Extension of the number 5 tram route from Enge to Laubegg

Opening of the new Tram Museum in the Burgwies depot

The first double-articulated trolleybus with a length of 24.7 metres goes into operation

The credit for construction of the Zurich West tram line is approved with a clear margin of votes in the city (69.3 percent in favour) and canton (69.9 percent in favour)


Design of seven special vehicles for EURO 2008 together with commercial partners as a special promotion

Launch of the first 70 state-of-the-art departure boards with real time information

In September, ground breaking for the Zurich West tram route

Commissioning of the 2nd phase of the Glattalbahn light rail line with an extension of the number 10 tram route to Zurich Airport

For the timetable change in December, VBZ adjusts its timing pattern to accommodate changing passenger requirements (increased frequency during evening hours and at weekends)

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