Austria’s Tyrol to have free public transport on New Year’s Eve

From 8 pm on New Year's Eve until 5 am on New Year's morning, all-night connections of the VVT in local transport and IVB can be used free of charge.

Austria's Tyrol to have free public transport on New Year's Eve
Christmas market in Innsbruck's old town (Innsbruck Tourismus, Photographer: Christof Lackner)

Austria’s Tyrol province announced that public transport (VVT and IVB) will run for free during New Year’s Eve for the first time from 8 pm on December 31st to 5 am on January 1st. 

“This is a novelty in Tyrol, and I am extremely pleased. I say quite clearly: on New Year’s Eve, rather leave the car and be chauffeured home comfortably in a train or bus”, said regional mobility council René Zumtobel.


The connections of the VVT in the local transport (suburban trains, Regiobuses, Nightline lines), as well as the offer of the IVB in Innsbruck, can be used free of charge.

“On New Year’s Eve, capacities on night trains will be expanded. All S-Bahn trains will be run as double sets, offering an additional 2200 seats,” Zumtobel said.

Long-distance trains, however, are excluded from the offer. 


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All churned up: Austrian oat milk ad draws farmers’ ire

Austrian farmers were left fuming after an advert for winter tourism featured oat -instead of cow's- milk, in what industry representatives sourly slammed as an "affront to Tyrolean farmers".

All churned up: Austrian oat milk ad draws farmers' ire

The commercial was to promote Austria’s western Tyrol region, renowned for its rolling pastures and rugged peaks that are a magnet for winter sports lovers.

In the ad, a hairy, horned mythical figure called “Percht” — known for driving out winters in Alpine folklore — is invited into a Tyrolean mountain hut for a warming drink after returning a young girl’s glove that he found in the snow.

But it is the next scene that had farmers in a froth — when the “Percht” creature orders a “latte macchiato with oat milk”.

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“It can’t be that a promotional video for Tyrol features ‘oat milk’ and not the very own, genuine Tyrolean milk,” Josef Hechenberger, president of the Tyrolean Chamber of Agriculture said in a statement.

The ad is an “affront to Tyrolean farmers”, he added. 

Another regional Chamber of Agriculture and the Tyrolean Farmers’ Union had also voiced complaints, arguing that dairy-related names such as “oat milk” were banned by the European Union in adverts because they do not contain dairy products.

The uproar led to the advert which runs just over one minute long being pulled.

Tourism marketing organisation Tirol Werbung that commissioned the promotional video said the aim was to portray local hospitality and open-mindedness.

But it acknowledged that the underlying message that every preference and lifestyle is welcome in Tyrol had been lost on some viewers.

The ad called “Come as you are — in Tyrol everybody is welcome” was originally designed to cater to “modern, urban” clientele, for whom “climate protection is important” and who might be lactose-intolerant, Tirol Werbung’s communications chief Patricio Hetfleisch told AFP Thursday.

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The punchline was that “every lifestyle and each preference, ranging from gender to food” would be welcomed with hospitality in Tyrol, Hetfleisch said.

“Obviously the punchline could not be decoded by some,” he added.

The commercial only aired for around 10 days before being suspended earlier this week due to criticism, Hetfleisch said.

Hashtags and memes surrounding the row are still trending in Austria.

It was originally shot in 2019 and produced by a Berlin-based creative film production agency.