Tramways are railroads that
- use the traffic area of public roads and are adapted to the characteristics of road traffic in terms of their structural and operational facilities and their mode of operation, or
- have a special track structure and are identical or similar in their mode of operation to the railroads referred to in paragraph 1 above
and are used exclusively or predominantly for the transport of passengers in the local or neighborhood area.
Tramways are also deemed to be railroads which are or will be constructed as elevated and subway railroads, suspension railroads or similar railroads of a special design, serve exclusively or predominantly to transport persons in the local or neighborhood area and are not mountain railroads or cableways.
The governments are responsible for carrying out planning approval procedures under the Passenger Transportation Act. The responsible government (planning approval authority) takes action upon application.
Sequence 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 specialized authorities and involves the affected communities. 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:
The comments received during the hearing procedure and the objections raised by third parties in good time are usually dealt with in 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 zoning authority issues the zoning decision. This is served on the applicant and, among others, on those objectors whose objections have been decided. If more than 50 notifications are to be made, these notifications can be replaced by public announcements.
An action may be brought directly against a plan approval 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 zoning decision.