Croatia’s Transportation Fleet is Very Old

By 26 June 2017

Trains are on average 30 years old, and ships are as old as 46.

Of all types of transport in Croatia, the most popular is car, which accounts for 51 percent of all travel. Walking is second in popularity with a share of 30 percent in the total number of trips, while just about 12 percent of all trips are made by means of public transportation. Bikes represent almost five percent of all travel. These data are from the new Transport Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia (2017-2030), which the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has recently submitted to public consultation, reports Večernji List on June 26, 2017.

Given these data points, one of the primary goals set out in the strategy is a change of passenger allocation in favour of public transport. In order to achieve this, various measures are needed to attract passengers to use buses, trains, trams, and ferries. One of these measures is the modernization of the fleet.

According to the data from the strategy, the Croatian fleet is extremely old in terms of all types of transport, with a few exceptions. Experts who worked on the plan included data up to 2015, according to which the average age of passenger cars in Croatia is 12.5 years, while, for example, in 2010 the average age was 10.4 years. This increase is due to Croatia joining the European Union which launched the trend of import of second-hand vehicles from the EU, the average age of which is ten years.

However, the data on the age of the fleet in public transport is even worse. Most of the public transport fleet in the four largest towns in Croatia – Zagreb, Split, Osijek and Rijeka – is at or near the end of its expected lifespan. The particularly bad situation is in Osijek and Split. In Osijek, the average age of trams is 45 years, and the average age of buses is ten years. In Split, the fleet was 12.2 years old on average in 2015, and the age of vehicles ranged from 2.6 years to 31 years. In Rijeka, public transportation buses have an average age of 11 years. In Zagreb, the situation is somewhat better. The current average age of buses is 9.2 years.

The fleet of Croatian Railways is on average more than 30 years old. The strategy states that it is necessary to replace a large number of locomotives given the estimate that 70 percent of locomotives will reach the end of their service life in the next ten years.

The average age of ships operated by Jadrolinija is 33.15 years, while the average age of the whole national fleet is 46.2 years. As for Croatia Airlines, the average age of its 12 aircraft is 12.8 years which, given the long service life of aircraft, is not so bad.

The strategy states that the popularisation of the public transport, apart from the modernization of the fleet, would also require the development of infrastructure. One of proposed measures is the introduction of separate public transport lanes on the Zagreb-Karlovac motorway and the Zagreb bypass road. Among other steps is the introduction of a “smart travel pass” for different types of transport and the introduction of a public transportation service on demand for areas which are poorly populated and where there are no regular lines.