In Kaiserslautern and its surroundings you travel within the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (VRN), the regional public transport company for Rheinland-Pfalz. You can use your students id to travel free of charge in all the buses in Kaiserslautern. Other than that, you can also travel free of cost in all the RB, RE and other trains except ICE, IC and EC where the transportation is managed by the VRN. With your students id, commonly called “Semesterticket” you can travel between Saarbrücken and Heidelberg free of charge. You can also travel to Alzey, Worms, Würzburg and neighbouring cities for free.
The new student id’s have your photograph printed on them. But it is always better to have another identity proof with you in case a police officer wishes to check your identity (best proof is your passport). The map shows the places where you can travel free of charge. Note that the local travel in the regions marked in gray color is not free of charge. You can travel up to those regions with trains for free. You can always ask in the local tourist information centres whether there are possibilities to travel at lower prices within the city. Group tickets for five people valid for one day can be bought in most cities for local travel as well as regional travel with trains, buses or trams / tube trains / metros (known as U-Bahn and S-Bahn in Germany).
The rail services in Germany – like in most countries – are provided by a single company that was privatized in 1994, the Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG). The railway system is subdivided into different zones and associations of transport companies, around Kaiserslautern, you travel with the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (VRN).
If you have a smartphone with Internet activated on your network, you can also access all the time-tables and routes anywhere on the go. You can plan your travel with precise information about the bus connections, along with the routes where you must walk or take a taxi to reach a certain destination, with accurate animations provided on the VRN website. The Deutsche Bahn also offers some useful apps for free download, which keep you updated with the railway schedules all the time.
You can order tickets online if you have a credit card. If you prefer to buy your ticket at the railway station, you can go to the ticket counter or the ticket machine. Getting on a train without a ticket can be an expensive experience. Please do not forget to buy a ticket first. Tickets are randomly checked by the conductor. Deutsche Bahn offers different pricing schemes to special groups: People who travel a lot are recommended to buy a Bahncard, groups or families of at least six people can take a Gruppenticket, and people who like travelling at weekends ought to buy aSchönes Wochenende Ticket. If you are travelling within one of the German States you can buy a Länderticket. For detailed information, please refer to the ticket counters at the railway stations, or the Internet. For almost all connections you can choose between faster (and therefore more expensive) connections and slower ones. If you take a highspeed train like the ICE (Inter-City-Express), the IC (Intercity), or the EC (Eurocity), you pay an extra charge. The RB (Regionalbahn), RE (Regionalexpress) as well as the S-Bahn (Schnellbahn) are slower, stop more often, and are less expensive. In the faster trains it is possible to reserve a seatfor an extra charge. You can also choose the class in which you like to travel. In the first class you enjoy more comfort and less stress, but you pay significantly more than in second class. Both first and second class have nonsmoking compartments.
The Kaiserslautern bus company is called SWK (Stadtwerke Kaiserslautern). Their central office (Info Center) is in the ‘Fruchthallstraße’ near the ‘Schillerplatz’. You can get there with nearly all bus lines and get off at the station called ‘Schillerplatz’. 100 meters from the station you can find the ‘Info Center’! At the ‘Info Center’ you can buy tickets for a whole week (€ 20.20) or a month (€ 64.30).
As an enrolled student you can use the buses in Kaiserslautern for free, the student ID will function as your ticket.
Note: If you are not (yet) enrolled, you have to pay for each ride! Therefore, you can buy a single ticket directly from the bus driver. Otherwise, you can go to the SWK Info Center and buy a weekly / monthly ticket. If you work at the university (as an assistant or post-doc, etc.) you can buy a ticket for employees of the university. This is about € 45 per month and can be started from the 1st January / April / July / October onwards. Ask the ISGS for exact conditions and forms.
Within the urban area of Kaiserslautern, the SWK provides fourteen convenient bus lines. Look on the route map ‘Liniennetz Kaiserslautern’ where you want to go and note the name of your destination station and the line you have to take. Go to the bus station and check when the bus arrives on the timetable.
Bus Lines from/to the Campus
• Station at the ‘sport facilities’ (Building 28): Line 115 to the city; you pass the student residences I & III and the post office and can get off at ‘Schillerplatz’ for the city center.
• Stations in ‘Gottlieb-Daimler-Street’: ‘UniOst’ (behind Building 47) and ‘UniSüd’ (in front of building 60): Line 115 / Line 105; you pass the post office and the train station and can get off at ‘Schillerplatz’ for the city center.
• Station at the ‘Davenportplatz’ (outside campus, therefore cross the small bridge near the mensa, building 30): Line 114; you pass the student residence IV and can continue to the city center.
Please note: each line goes round-trip in different buses! So please check in which direction your destination is and if it corresponds to the course of the schedule at the bus station!
Reaching Your Destination:
When entering the bus just present your ticket to the bus driver. Get on the bus, show / buy your ticket and sit down (if there are empty places). Before arriving at your destination, press the bus halt switch for the station where you want to get off the bus. Please do not press this button until l you are close to the station you want to leave the bus! Get off the bus and check when there will be a return bus. Please consider that at the weekends or at night the buses run at different times or not at all!