Rostock as a city is characterised by two specific facts:
It is impossible to drive a car during rush-hour traffic.
The inner and outer city is being renovated in every corner.
Although Rostock is advertised internationally as a tourist city, many of the streets and bridges have become dilapidated over the decades. Accordingly, countless construction projects are now taking place throughout the city to restore this infrastructure. After a long period of recession, the city is experiencing an economic upswing, which is partly due to the good economic situation in Germany as a whole. Germans have more money, Germans travel more to Rostock and Germans mainly use their beloved cars for this.
Of course, this has fatal consequences for inhabitants and visitors in Rostock alike. The rush hour traffic, which usually starts at 7 am and 3 pm in Germany, is sometimes so massive in the city centre that waiting times of 1-2 hours for a simple trip are not uncommon. If one wants to get from the west side to the east side (or vice versa) in Rostock, one can indeed drive through a tunnel under the Warnow, for which, however, fees of 5 euros per passage are charged. Otherwise there is only the way through the city centre by car. The city centre, on the other hand, is overcrowded with speed cameras, which means that huge amount of fines are imposed even for minor speeding. Additionally dozens of construction sites are in your way due to renovation work. Fun Fact: Germany is now being sued by the EU because in many cities the limit for fine dust pollution is not being met – which is partly due to the excessive traffic pollution (and the lack of willingness of our German car manufacturers to innovate). In Rostock, the economic centre of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, there is a lack of well structured transport and car routes for business and private individuals. Yet, the solution to this problem is both simple and ingenious. Rostock is characterized by another thing as a tourist city:
We have a really efficient and punctual local traffic infrastructure as well as very well-maintained cycle paths that run all over the city!
In conclusion there are some alternative mobility possibilities, which I would like to briefly outline in the following:
- Buy a Bike and a Railway Ticket:
RSAG, the railway company of our city, has managed to make almost all areas of Rostock easily accessible by its railways. If the stop is a little further away from your destination, take your purchased or rented bike and just cycle there. RSAG offers a combined ticket for this purpose (monthly ticket and bicycle transport). Bicycles can be bought in many places in the city.
Favourable variants: Ebay Classifieds, Facebook Groups, Social Stores, Buying and Selling
Expensive variations: CUBE
- Rent a Bike:
If you can not afford your own bicycle at the moment, RSAG offers the possibility to rent so-called e-bikes (pedelecs) in important places of the city between April and October. The availability and booking of these bikes can easily be done online. The prices are very customer-friendly, especially for holidaymakers. A day ticket is already available for 19 euros! An overview of the costs can be found here.
- Rent a Car:
Mobility on four wheels still offers enormous advantages – I can not deny that even though car traffic inside Rostock is horrendous. Especially outside the Rostock city district the density of infrastructure is continuously decreasing. UBER has been banned in Germany, of course the taxi and automobile lobby in Germany has not influenced this decision in any way, which makes regular taxi rides necessary. However, the costs for this can quickly rise into the high double-digit range – depending on the distance. If you don’t want to incur the massive and annually increasing extra costs of owning your own car, there is another great opportunity for you: car sharing. The companies, the inhabitants of Rostock and the city administration are increasingly relying on digital networking, which makes it easy and convenient to rent cars online at certain locations by just using your smartphone. The procedure is almost always identical and foolproof:
#You register and verify yourself online at a certain provider.
#You will receive a rechargeable money card or something similar.
#You search for a car location online and sign yourself up for a certain period of time.
#You go to the car and drive.
The costs are ridiculously low in comparison with riding a taxi or buying a car. You can register for car sharing in Rostock here at greenwheels (ten cars available) or carsharing (four cars available).
- Use Carpool:
Germans are smart spenders. Although UBER was forbidden, carpools are allowed in Germany. These carpools are organized either through Facebook groups or specialized websites such as BlaBlaCar. This is also very elegant way to save money and meet new local people.
You protect the environment, you save money and above all you save your nerves with these alternative possibilities. Have fun in Rostock!