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Cooperation between urban and regional transport companies in Germany: Hanover and Jena

In two larger German cities, municipal and regional transport companies are moving closer together in order to improve and standardise public transport services in the future.

In Hanover, “three become one”: ÜSTRA, regiobus and Großraum-Verkehr Hannover (GVH) have been working closely and well together for many years but have had completely independent logos and brand worlds. All three companies will continue to exist in the future. Since 5 April 2024, ÜSTRA will be the sole brand for the three companies by merging the brand worlds – ÜSTRA, regiobus and GVH will become the new ÜSTRA.

Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric bus of üstra with the new logo | © ÜSTRA/Arp
 Elke van Zadel, Chairwoman of the ÜSTRA Management Board and Managing Director of regiobus – Ulf-Birger Franz, Head of the Hannover Region Transport Department, Managing Director of the GVH and Chairman of the ÜSTRA Supervisory Board – Steffen Krach, Regional President | © GVH/Franz Fender

The aim is to significantly simplify local and regional transport in the Hannover region, make it even more present and anchor it as an integral part of a modern, sustainable and mobile lifestyle. To this end, the existing ÜSTRA brand is being fundamentally revised and repositioned. It is also being given a new figurative mark, the so-called ÜMO, which is intended to be more than just a new logo. ÜMO incorporates the name of ÜSTRA and the concepts of “mobility” and “emotions”.

The introduction of the new brand is also closely linked to the move towards the joint operation of ÜSTRA and regiobus, for which the regional assembly gave the go-ahead last year.

In Jena, Thuringia, two companies are also working more closely together: Jenaer Nahverkehr (JeNah) and JES Verkehrsgesellschaft were merged into a joint operation on 1 April 2024. Although both companies will remain formally independent, they will be managed as one company in future. “The new joint operation will enable the creation of a standardised mobility concept for the Jena / Saale-Holzland district transport area with the three main pillars of city bus, regional bus and tram. Synergy and scaling effects can thus be utilised even better”, says Thomas Nitzsche, Lord Mayor of the City of Jena. The merger of the transport divisions is intended to enable a sustainable and standardised mobility concept for the region.

“Jenaer Nahverkehr and JES Verkehrsgesellschaft have already been closely linked under company law in a parent-subsidiary relationship since 2022. By establishing the joint operation as the logical next step, we are even better equipped for the future. We want to improve the mobility of all residents and meet the needs of our passengers even better”, said the Managing Directors of Jenaer Nahverkehr and JES Verkehrsgesellschaft, Andreas Möller and Steffen Gundermann.

Jena | © Stadtwerke Jena; A. Tautenhahn