Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Lower Saxony - Verkehrsverbund Bremen/Niedersachsen

ZVBN logo

The Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Niedersachsen ( ZVBN ) is an amalgamation of six districts and four cities in the area of ​​the Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Niedersachsen (VBN) in the form of a Zweckverband . He is responsible for the road-bound local public transport (ÖPNV).


The common goal is to lay the foundations for high quality public transport. In doing so, he supports the further development of the region into an attractive business and residential location with a high quality of life and the environment. In 1989 the Bremen / Lower Saxony transport association started with the goal of "one tariff - one ticket for all means of transport". The project to further develop the VBN began in 1994, before VBN GmbH and ZVBN were founded in 1996 on the basis of the changed legal framework. The ZVBN was created in September 1996 as an amalgamation of four independent cities , six rural districts and initially twelve associated municipalities in neighboring rural districts. The following month theTransport association Bremen / Lower Saxony founded, in which the transport companies have joined forces that provide transport services in the network area. In 1997 the association contracts came into force and the transport community was converted into a transport association. In accordance with the requirements of the European Union, administration and planning on the one hand, and the implementation of local public transport on the other, were divided into two separate organizational units.

organization structure

For local road passenger transport (ÖSPV), the state legislators have transferred the responsibility to the municipal area (cf. Section 6 (1) BremÖPNVG and Section 4 (1) No. 3 NNVG). This means that in Lower Saxony, in the districts and urban districts, the tasks for drawing up a local transport plan and for ordering public services have been transferred to the municipalities. According to § 7 Para. 1 BremÖPNVG, the public transport authorities in the state of Bremen can join forces with the Lower Saxony public transport authorities to form a special purpose association to carry out their tasks. In Bremen and Bremerhaven, responsibility for local public transport lies with the Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Niedersachsen (ZVBN), which was founded in 1996.

The following three-part organizational structure has existed for public transport in Bremen and the region since January 1, 1997:

  1. Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Niedersachsen (ZVBN) as the responsible body (customer)
  2. Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Niedersachsen GmbH (VBN) as the management level
  3. 34 transport companies in the VBN as operator (creator)

Local rail passenger transport (SPNV) in the VBN area, on the other hand , is jointly ordered and managed by the regional rail transport authorities, Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen mbH (LNVG) in Hanover and the Senator for Environment, Building and Transport (SBUV) in Bremen. A transfer to the ZVBN would be legally possible, but is currently not sought.

Legal bases

In addition to the BremÖPNVG and the NNVG, the following legal bases and contractual provisions are important:

  1. Association statutes for the ZVBN
  2. Association agreements with other municipalities in Lower Saxony
  3. VBN articles of association
  4. Framework agreement VBN - ZVBN
  5. Implementation contract VBN - ZVBN
  6. Financing contract for VBN GmbH

The ZVBN is acc. Section 4 (1) of the association's statutes, the responsible authority according to Regulation (EEC) 1370/07 for public transport within the meaning of the PBefG. As already mentioned, it is not responsible for the local rail transport, which is managed by the states of Bremen and Lower Saxony (→ via LNVG). The objectives of the framework agreement between the ZVBN and VBN-GmbH include Section 1 (1) securing, improving and expanding public transport in the VBN network area. In order to achieve these contractual goals, according to Section 2 (2)

  • to support the VBN-GmbH, the Zweckverband - taking into account the local transport plan decided by it - in the fulfillment of its tasks as well as to ensure that the regulations of the framework contract and the local transport plan are fulfilled in their sphere of activity,
  • the Zweckverband, the reduced income acc. to the application of the association tariff. to compensate for the provisions of the implementation contract concluded between ZVBN and VBN (→ financial contribution).

The implementation contract regulates according to Section 1 (1) including its appendices:

  1. Which revenues are to be shared and how these revenues are to be distributed among the transport companies
  2. Compensation for the lower income resulting from the network tariff through the ZVBN (→ financial contribution to the so-called through-tariffing losses)
  3. The establishment of a transport company fund for the years 2005 to 2010
  4. The procedure for changing the network tariff
  5. Carrying out traffic surveys

Association members

Association members of the ZVBN are acc. Section 2 of the association statutes include the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven , which are part of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen , the cities of Delmenhorst and Oldenburg in Lower Saxony and the districts of Ammerland , Diepholz , Oldenburg , Osterholz , Verden and Wesermarsch . The municipalities of Wurster Nordseeküste (from January 1, 2016), Hagen im Bremischen , Beverstedt also belong to the VBN network area in the district of Cuxhaven via association agreements, Loxstedt , Schiffdorf and Geestland (from January 1, 2016), in the Rotenburg (Wümme) district the municipalities Gnarrenburg , Selsingen , Tarmstedt , Zeven , Sottrum , Rotenburg / Wümme , the city ​​of Visselhövede and joint municipality Bothel and in the district of Nienburg the joint municipality Grafschaft Hoya .

The network area of ​​the VBN covers an area of ​​8,500 km² with 1.833 million inhabitants. 34 transport companies operate 10 railway lines , 12 tram lines , 402 bus lines with 71 train stations and around 6,500 stops. 140.2 million passengers led to revenues of 176.6 million euros in 2018.

The decision-making body of the ZVBN is the association assembly. Each member of the association sends two representatives. This includes the main administrative officer and another "freely determinable" representative. The distribution of votes is based on the number of residents.

Association members and number of votes (total 56, as of 2018):

  • City of Bremen 18
  • City of Bremerhaven 4
  • City of Delmenhorst 3
  • City of Oldenburg 5
  • Ammerland district 4
  • District of Diepholz 7
  • District of Oldenburg 4
  • Osterholz district 4
  • Verden district 4
  • Wesermarsch district 3

In principle, decisions are made with a three-quarters majority. Certain decisions - such as changing tasks, accepting new members, the economic and local transport plan - require unanimous resolutions.

The current chairman of the association is the district administrator of the Osterholz district, Bernd Lütjen. His deputy is the Lord Mayor of Delmenhorst Axel Jahnz (SPD).

The ZVBN office at Willy-Brandt-Platz 7 in Bremen is responsible for the operational business . In addition to the managing director, ten other employees work here.

Tasks of the ZVBN as public transport authority

  • Responsible body for public transport according to § 6 and 7 BremÖPNV or § 4 Paragraph 1 No. 3 and Paragraph 3 NNVG
  • “Competent authority” according to EU-VO 1370/07 for any upcoming tenders in public transport.
  • Resolution of the local transport plan
  • Compensation for reduced earnings at transport companies due to the application of the VBN tariff through the financial contribution
  • Support of the local authorities in the planning and financing of public transport improvements
  • Bundling of the region’s public transport interests and representing them towards third parties

The joint tasks of ZVBN and VBN include

  • The development of quality standards for public transport and regional rail stops, a coordinated vehicle concept, complaint management and a concept for passenger information.
  • The further development of the VBN tariff
  • Market research using the instruments of customer barometers, traffic surveys and passenger surveys.


To finance the tasks assigned to it, the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven, as well as the state of Lower Saxony, provide the ZVBN as public transport authority with an annual € 1.00 per inhabitant. In 2005 this total was € 1.69 million.

Local transport plan

According to § 4 Paragraph 3 of the Zweckverband statute in connection with § 8 BremÖPNVG and § 6 NNVG, the Zweckverband has a local transport plan(NVP) to decide. This forms according to Section 5 (2) defines the framework for securing, developing and improving local public transport in the association area. With it, the authority defines “sufficient traffic service” in the public interest. The NVP is acc. To resolve § 5 para. 1 for a period of five years. It should take existing traffic structures into account, come into being with the cooperation of the existing transport companies and take into account the public transport plans drawn up by the individual association members. It must therefore also be coordinated with the requirements of regional planning and regional planning. According to NVP 1 (1998–2002), NVP 2 (2003–2007), which became NVP 3 (2008–2012), NVP 4 for the years 2013–2017 on December 13, 2017, the NVP 5 (2018-2022) passed by the association assembly.

The local transport plan is divided into the following sections:

Part A: Inventory and evaluation of the existing transport offer
Part B: Estimation of the expected future traffic volume in local public transport
Part C: Securing, developing and improving public transport
Part D: Financing
Part E: Prioritization

ZVBN funding fund

According to the resolution of the association meeting on December 18, 2002, a funding fund was set up at the ZVBN for the first time for the financial years 2003 to 2005 for the promotion of public transport measures. The funding fund was initially endowed with a volume of 500,000 euros per financial year for three years. Taking into account the amendment to the Lower Saxony Local Transport Act on January 1, 2005, the association meeting on December 21, 2004 decided to lift the time limit for the promotion fund. Since then, the funds have been made available through grants in accordance with NNVG (→ funds that remain after deduction of the ZVBN financial contribution) and a contribution from the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven as well as the associated regional authorities. In 2005, around 990,000 euros in funding were available.

The funding areas include in particular:

  • Performance improvements
  • Local rail / public transport stops (especially with regard to "accessibility"). Since the start of the specific funding for stops in 2000, a total of over 1,500 stops have been modernized with financial help from the ZVBN.
  • Passenger information
  • Traffic surveys and market research.