Emperors and Kings travelled over the Brenner. Today more than ever the Province is criss- crossed by important traffic routes which although an economic necessity are increasingly felt by the population to be a burden. The main traffic artery is the Brenner motorway on which in 1992 an average of 5.5 million motor vehicles travelled 1.6 million of them being lorries.
An average of 4 500 heavy lorries cross the Brenner daily using the motorway. 27.2 million tons of goods are transported over the Brenner annually only 8.4 million tons by rail and 18.8 (1994) million tons by road. Efforts to shift the traffic especially the heavy- duty traffic from the roads to the railways will only become possible with the expansion and modernization of the 1867 Brenner railway line and in particular only after the realisation of the new Munich-Verona railway with the planned tunnel between Innsbruck and Franzensfeste (Fortezza).
Altogether the Province is covered by a network of 289 km of railway a 109 km long motorway 831 km of state roads to which should be added 1 500 km of open country municipal roads. Numerous goods roads and forest roads built privately or by associations the municipalities or the Province link outlying hamlets farms alpine meadows and managed forests. The building and maintenance of the railways are the responsibility of a private body the state roads that of a state body the motorway is run by the Brenner Motorway Company while the remaining roads and ways are maintained by the Province the municipalities other bodies or privately.
In St. Jakob bei Bozen (San Giacomo) there is an airfield which will in the future be equipped with the necessary infrastructural and security installations to enable it to be used as a third category airport.
The Province of South Tyrol has primary powers in regard to roads transport and communications of provincial interest including the technical regulations for cable cars and their management. On the basis of these powers the Province has recently reorganized the public transport service with provincial laws by which especially advantageous rates were introduced for local residents and sharply reduced rates for commuters. In addition special services have been put on for school children and workers. Invalids old people and families with many children also benefit from preferential rates. Town transport fares in South Tyrol are among the cheapest in all Italy. In addition in South Tyrol this system of preferential rates has been extended to the railway in the Province so that all means of public transport (bus and train) can be used with the same ticket. This bus-train linked system is unique in Italy and has met with great interest at home and abroad.
Being a mountain and a tourist area South Tyrol has an extensive network of means of ascent. As of 1 January 1995 South Tyrol had a total of 24 shuttle-lifts with a total carrying capacity of 10 227 persons per hour and a total length of 52 654 metres; 42 circular lifts with a total carrying capacity of 88 879 persons per hour and a total length of 71 704 metres; 110 chair-lifts with a total carrying capacity of 128 149 persons per hour and a total length of 122 423 metres; and 235 ski-lifts with a total carrying capacity of 174 759 persons per hour and a length of 155 516 metres as well as a cable car with a carrying capacity of 400 persons per hour and a total length of 2 368 metres.
During the winter season 1993-94 95 364 910 individual ascensions were made 3.5 per cent by shuttle-lifts 25.9 per cent by circular lifts 29.8 per cent by chair-lifts and 40.8 per cent by ski-lifts.