Have a look at this way to get from point A to point B as proposed by google maps:


screenshot of Google maps

Why does it use S5 and S1 and then some walking instead of using U1? Won't using U1 be faster and easier?

I've never been to Berlin before.

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    In this particular case, using the U-Bahn is even a better choice than you might think as the Berlin S-Bahn network has been plagued with technical issues and service reductions for several years. – Relaxed Jun 7 '13 at 13:50
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    the link now suggests using the u-bahn – EdmundYeung99 Sep 3 '13 at 14:34
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    Indeed it does now. – cherouvim Sep 3 '13 at 19:11

Won't using U1 be faster and easier?

Yes - but Google Maps doesn't know about it. Apparently the public transit data in Germany is based exclusively on a cooperation with Deutsche Bahn (which operates the S-Bahn). Other public transit (including regional trains not operated by DB) are not taken into account.

They may eventually expand their data base (though it's been over a year already), but until then, this feature is basically worthless in Germany. You have to use the websites of individual public transit networks, such as BVG for berlin. Interestingly, for regional and long distance connection, bahn.de is the correct choice, since they take into account competitors' lines as well.

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    ..and you/OP can write to google maps about it. There are many routes that GMaps gets wrong. I have sent them numerous 'wrong route emails' and they have been prompt about fixing things – happybuddha Jun 7 '13 at 12:54
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    @happybuddha: this is not about a route being wrong, it's about GMaps not having any data at all about most forms of public transit in Germany. That's not something they can just "fix". – Michael Borgwardt Jun 7 '13 at 12:57
  • Agreed. I said GMaps 'fixed' issues I reported about wrong routes. Similarly, you can send them an email about this and they will let you know the exact reasons/steps they would take/etc. – happybuddha Jun 7 '13 at 13:10
  • Wow - lived in Berlin over two years and never noticed that GMaps didn't include the U-bahn. +1 for BVG.de, it is usually spot on, and would also recommend the op buy one of the pocket folding maps of Berlin they sell in the kiosks at most train stations - what looks like the fastest/most direct route on a map usually is. – David Hall Jun 7 '13 at 18:00
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    FINALLY! Google Maps Transit added VBB data: google-produkte.blogspot.de/2013/09/… – graup Sep 4 '13 at 7:54

Why?? I don't know, probably they don't have the information about all kind of public transport. So it's better to use fahrinfo-berlin.de

Here is an exaple for this route: timetable

EDIT: Google maps shows also U-Bahns, Trams and Buses (but still only in Berlin and Brandenburg(VBB))


Michael is spot-on. On top of that, you have chosen "train" as your transport method, not "subway". You need to consider that the "S" stands for "Schnellbahn" (fast train), the "U" stands for "Untergrundbahn" - subway. Despite the fact that they are both running underground downtown.

To explain the difference: In most cities in Germany, the S-Bahn will be a commuter-like train that enters the city from outlying villages farther away on one side, crosses it and exits it on the other side to other villages further out. Also in Berlin, the furthest reaches of the train network are only operated by S-Bahn. It is underground in the center of the city, but over ground outside the city - so not a subway. Those are operated by the National rail service, the "Deutsche Bahn".

The U-Bahn will be mostly underground and mostly traverse around the city center. They are operated by the city.

If you chose "subway" for your travel instead of "train", Google will NOT chose the train, but instead recommend you to walk all the way.

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    In most cities… but not in Berlin where the S-Bahn is in many ways similar to the U-Bahn (except for the fact that it doesn't work). Since most if not all tickets are valid on both networks, it does not make sense for Google to make a distinction that is in effect only historical/organizational. – Relaxed Jun 7 '13 at 13:52
  • @Annoyed Also in Berlin, no U-Bahn goes into the C-Tarif which is the furthest from the center: beckymstevens.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/… – uncovery Jun 7 '13 at 13:52
  • Sure, and the logo is different too. How does it have anything to do with anything? – Relaxed Jun 7 '13 at 13:53
  • @Annoyed I replied in chat. – uncovery Jun 7 '13 at 14:02

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