Road and underground railways; application for the implementation of a planning approval procedure

Operating facilities for tramways may only be built if the plan has been approved in advance. When the plan is approved, the public and private interests affected by the project, including environmental compatibility, must be taken into account as part of the weighing process.


Tramways are railways which

  • use the traffic area of public roads and adapt their structural and operational facilities as well as their mode of operation to the characteristics of road traffic or
  • have a special track structure and are identical or similar in their mode of operation to the railways referred to in paragraph 1 above

and are used exclusively or mainly for the carriage of passengers in the local or neighbourhood area.

Tramways are also deemed to be railways which are or will be constructed as elevated and underground railways, suspension railways or similar railways of a special design, which serve exclusively or predominantly to transport persons in the local or neighbourhood area and which are not mountain railways or cableways.

The governments are responsible for carrying out planning approval procedures under the Passenger Transport Act. The competent government (planning approval authority) takes action upon application.

Procedure of the plan approval procedure

An application for the initiation of a formal plan approval procedure is submitted to the plan approval authority.

As the hearing authority, the government obtains the opinions of the specialist authorities and involves the affected municipalities. It also involves the associations recognized under nature conservation law and the other associations recognized in environmental matters (e.g. Landesbund für Vogelschutz, Bund Naturschutz, etc.).

The public is involved:

  • Public announcement
    The construction project is announced in the communities concerned in accordance with local custom (e.g. on community notice boards).
  • Public display
    The planning documents (project description, land acquisition plan, land acquisition register, site plans, technical investigations) are displayed for inspection in the municipalities concerned for 1 month.
  • Objection period
    Objections to the project can be submitted to the municipality or the government in writing or in writing up to two weeks after the expiry of the one-month display period. Anyone whose interests are affected by the project is entitled to raise objections.

    It is important to observe this deadline! If this deadline is missed, the objections can be disregarded and legal remedies against the planning approval decision are excluded.

The comments received during the hearing procedure and the objections raised by third parties in good time are usually dealt with at a separate meeting (discussion meeting) with the representatives of the authorities and the objectors. This date is also announced to the public in good time. One of the aims of the hearing is to find solutions to conflicts associated with the project.

After completion of the hearing procedure, the planning approval authority issues the planning approval decision. This is served on the applicant and, among others, on those objectors whose objections have been decided upon. If more than 50 notifications are to be made, these notifications may be replaced by public notices.

An action may be brought directly against a planning decision. The action must be brought within one month of service. The requirements are set out in detail in the information on legal remedies in the planning approval decision.


Construction or substantial modification of tramway operating facilities.


As a rule, construction may not begin until a planning approval procedure has been carried out. Objections to the project can be submitted to the municipality or the government in writing or in writing up to two weeks after the expiry of the one-month period for display. An action against a planning approval decision must be brought within one month of notification.


  • As a rule, administrative costs are not incurred by objectors. Exceptions are expenses for requested copies, transcripts, etc. Any expenses incurred by the objector (e.g. lawyer's fees) are to be borne by the objector.

Status: 20.08.2021

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wohnen, Bau und Verkehr

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