The Hamburg Public Transport Association (Hamburger Verkehrsverbund – HVV) was founded in 1965 by four public transport operators with the aim of providing an alternative to the rising popularity of private car ownership. To have one tariff, one ticket, and one timetable for one city – a state of affairs that seems perfectly normal today – was very innovative back then and was met with worldwide acclaim.
In 1996 the HVV transitioned from an operator-driven association to a public transport association of the Public Transport Authorities. Today the German federal states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony are associate partners of the HVV, along with the councils of the seven administrative districts surrounding Hamburg. In addition to HOCHBAHN, more than 30 public transport operators are affiliates of the HVV.
The role of the HVV is to translate the Public Transport Authorities’ strategy for an attractive, fundable and environmentally friendly public transport system into specific requirements and guidelines for the public transport operators. The HVV manages all public transport services for the Public Transport Authorities and coordinates the public transport operators.