Monday, 25 November 2019

Investments in Transport Infrastructure Worth More Than 2.7 Billion Euro

ZAGREB, November 25, 2019 - Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković on Monday said that investments in Croatia's transport infrastructure were valued at more than 20 billion kuna and that most of these investments went to the road sector.

Butković was attending a conference on the future of Croatia's transport system, organised by the Via Vita roads' association, about current road, railway, sea and air transport and of the strategy, financing, public procurement, and construction of infrastructure.

Commenting on the ongoing projects, he cited the future Pelješac Bridge, a bypass road around Omiš, an access road to the Rijeka ring road and so on.

Speaking of procurement procedures, Butković made reference to long appeals procedures which often make it difficult to close financial constructions for various projects.

He added that the law that regulates this has been aligned with EU directives and that a balance needs to be found so that appeals processes are resolved more quickly and that possible abuse is diminished.

As for road transport investments, he also mentioned projects referring to the infrastructure within the pan-European 5C corridor, the motorway to Sisak, the Istria Y-motorway and the future, second tunnel through Učka as well as completing the Zagreb-Macelj motorway and fast roads in Zagorje, Bjelovar.

"We need to be grateful for EU funds, which help us to resolve large investment," he underscored and added that along with economic growth, Croatia's budget is all the more stable and is opening opportunities for the country to slowly resolve the question of investments from the state budget in collaboration with international institutions.

More transport news can be found in the Business section.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Number of Transported Passengers Down in Second Quarter

ZAGREB, August 24, 2019 - A total of 21.7 million passengers were transported in Croatia in the second quarter of 2019, down by 2.1% in comparison to the Q2 2018, while the volume of transported goods increased by 8.1%, according to the data released by the national statistical office (DZS).

Broken down by passenger transportation mode, only the transport of passengers by air recorded a rise, AND Air passenger transport had a 4.8% rise to 637,000 passengers.

On the other hand, the transport by bus, by sea and by rail saw a decline in the Q2 this year. In Q2, 5.1 million passengers were transported by rail, down 3% compared to Q2 2018.

The number of passengers using road transport fell by 2.4% to 12.1 million, and local maritime ferry companies registered a drop of 0.8% to 3.8 million passengers.

More news about transport issues can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Croatian, Slovenian Hauliers Demand Transit Across All Border Crossings

ZAGREB, July 17, 2019 - Slovenian and Croatian hauliers should be able to use every border crossing, officials of the two countries' chambers of trades and crafts have concluded at a meeting, the Croatian chamber said on Wednesday.

They met in Ljubljana to discuss the issue of traffic flow across border crossings, concluding that the closure of some crossings has caused damage to both countries' hauliers and that it is also a political issue because of which both economies suffer.

The president of the Croatian chamber, Dragutin Ranogajec, and his Slovenian counterpart Branko Meh were agreed that this problem demanded an urgent solution by the two governments.

The interests of Slovenian and Croatian hauliers are the same, so transport and supply between the two economies must be undisturbed, the officials concluded.

On June 1, the Slovenian Infrastructure Ministry introduced on 17 local border crossings with Croatia a restriction barring the transit of trucks exceeding 7.5 tonnes in weight. Consequently, Croatian hauliers must use international crossings, which has resulted in higher expenses and longer transport.

Slovenia says the restriction is aimed at increasing the safety and quality of life of the local population, so it shifted cargo transport from state roads to motorways. Croatian hauliers, however, believe the restriction is a response to Croatia's closure of the Mursko Središće border crossing for the transit of trucks exceeding 7.5 tonnes.

Croatian and Slovenian transport ministers met in June to discuss the restriction.

More news about relations between Croatia and Slovenia can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

EU Investment Boom in Croatian Transport Infrastructure

So far, the Croatian transport sector has contracted 76 projects from EU funds, totalling almost 25.5 billion kuna. Last year was marked by a massive investment boom in the Croatian transport infrastructure, and many key projects were agreed, co-financed mainly from EU funds, reports Večernji List on January 3, 2019.

The most important among them is Pelješac Bridge. A Chinese contractor will complete the 2.08 billion kuna project, and the start of visible works on the bridge is expected soon. Works at the Brajdica container terminal at the Rijeka port worth 270 million kuna have started, as well as the 614 million kuna works on the Zaprešić-Zabok railway line. Last year, Croatia also received EU grants for the construction of the Vinkovci-Vukovar railway line, a project worth 677 million kuna.

In late 2018, 1.23 billion kuna construction works started for the completion of the Istrian motorway system. Last year, the Čiovo Bridge was finally completed and a EU contract to co-finance the DC 403 road from Škurinje to Rijeka port worth 520 million kuna was signed. So far, six projects with a total value of 169 million kuna have been contracted to finance the construction of county ports from EU funds. Last year, the Transport Ministry also announced a 315 million kuna tender for the procurement of public transportation vehicles.

It is expected that Croatia will sign several significant contracts this year as well. The most important among them is the signing of a grant agreement for the reconstruction and construction of the second track of a 44.25-kilometre long section of the Hrvatski Leskovac-Karlovac railroad line. The estimated value of these works is about 2.6 billion kuna, which is more than Pelješac Bridge.

This will continue the reconstruction and modernization of the railway line from Rijeka to the Hungarian border, after the reconstruction of the part of the line from Zagreb to the Hungarian border has already begun. Works on the section of the railway from Dugo Selo to Križevci are already well underway, and this year a contract will be signed, and works will begin on the construction of the second track on the Križevci-state border section. The value of these works is 283.9 million euro, and 85 percent of the cost is co-financed from EU funds.

The railways will again be one of the largest investors in the country this year. It is expected that a contract for works on the upgrade and electrification of the Vinkovci-Vukovar railway line will be signed later this year. The section is 18.71 kilometres long, and the value of works is almost 680 million kuna.

In addition to the railway lines, investments in trains are also expected. The Ministry has announced that it is launching a train project for Croatian Railways Passenger Transport, which plans to purchase a total of 21 trains. These trains would be used for regional and urban-suburban traffic, and the estimated value of the project is 1.3 billion kuna.

This year, works will be completed on the newly-constructed Gradec-Sv. Ivan Žabno section, worth 30.1 million euro, and contracts will be signed for works to upgrade infrastructure at the Rijeka port (Container Terminal Zagreb), worth 31 million euro.

In late 2018, a tender for works on the construction of the first phase of the road project Stobreč-Dugi Rat-Omiš was announced, and the start of these works worth 250 million kuna is expected this year. The construction of the Sava bridge at Gradiška will also start, with an estimated value of 221 million kuna. This year, the construction of the access roads to the Pelješac Bridge will begin. The Croatian Motorways will complete the construction of the Svilaj Bridge and will start the works on the Beli Manastir-Halasica Bridge section of the Beli Manastir-Osijek motorway.

More news on Croatia and the EU funds can be found in our Business section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Large Infrastructure Projects in Croatia Being Implemented, Claims Minister

ZAGREB, November 28, 2018 – Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković presented on Tuesday a summary of large infrastructure projects in Croatia that are underway and or are nearing completion, in response to several objections in parliament to his claim that the 2019 budget was geared toward investments in transport infrastructure.

This ministry has launched 14 billion kuna investments that will be implemented with assistance of Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme, the EU-funding instrument Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), he said.

"At the moment, we have signed a little more than 70% of the agreements pertaining to Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme, and more than 90% of those pertaining the EU-funding instrument Connecting Europe Facility," Butković explained.

Now, large infrastructure projects in Croatia are underway – Pelješac Bridge, the D403 motorway for which a grant agreement will be signed in Rijeka in the next few days.

He boasted of large railway projects too: Dugo Selo–Križevci which is currently underway, Zaprešić-Zabok, Vinkovci-Vukovar for which a grant has been secured.

A tender will be advertised in the next few days for a large railway project that will connect Zagreb with the Hungarian border and that is the Koprivnica-Križevci-Hungary route with total value of more than 300 million kuna, he added.

Two weeks ago, he continued, works were commenced on the extension of the Y-motorway in Istria valued at about 160 million euro and talks are underway for the second B2 phase. A tender will also be advertised this year for the continuation of the 5C corridor and the decision to finance that project will be put to the government in February next year, which is currently being negotiated with large European institutions, he said.

He announced the procurement of new trains and noted that investments would be made in railway crossings too, the railway through the Lika mountainous area, and so on.

For more on the infrastructure projects in Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Wi-Fi in Zagreb Public Transport: Does It Work?

It works a bit, and then it stops. It starts very fast, but after a few minutes it slows down. After half an hour, it does not work at all... On Friday, some 60 trams and 58 buses started offering free wireless internet access, and in the next three to four months the free internet service should expand to all newer trams and 213 buses. So, does Wi-Fi in Zagreb public transport work, asks Večernji List on November 21, 2018.

On the no. 6 tram from Ban Josip Jelačić Square to Črnomerec and back, the user experience was mixed. At the start, the connection is great, but as the time goes by, it stops, restarts stops again and eventually dies altogether.

Getting connected to the WiFi internet is fast and easy. You just need to press the network connection option on your iPhone or Android smartphone, after which the phone automatically redirects to the ZET (company managing trams and buses) server. One tap and the connection is established, with the warning that after half an hour you will need to reconnect so that the internet connection would continue.

At first, the connection works flawlessly, and you can use Facebook, YouTube, Viber, Instagram and websites without any delays. But the happiness lasts for just fifteen minutes when the first problems begin. Videos on Instagram start to falter, and you have to wait for a second, two or three, while browsers and social networks need a little bit longer to refresh. After that, the connection quality continues to deteriorate, and after half an hour, when it is time to reconnect to the system, it might take up to 30 seconds for a website to open, while videos on YouTube can hardly be played.

Reconnecting after half an hour becomes a challenge in itself because the wireless signal is so bad that the phone can barely recognize the ZET network. Even when the connection is finally established, that does not help at all because the internet has already become so slow that it is completely unusable.

“I use my private internet connection, I am not in the mood to deal with these problems,” said Andrea Jukić, who tried the new service on Saturday. Since it stopped working after just ten minutes, she decided to rely on her internet provider.

“ZET's internet is fine if you have no more room on your data plan and you need to check an e-mail or an important message. Otherwise, it makes no sense to connect to their Wi-Fi,” said Stjepan Višić.

The pilot project for the introduction of the Wi-Fi internet in trams and buses began earlier this year when the free internet access was provided in three trams and three buses. The project proved to be a success, so 19.8 million kuna has been allocated for the introduction of wireless internet in other buses and trams.

For more on local issues in Zagreb, click here.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Hana Ivković).

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Koprivnica Provides Free Public Transportation with Electric Buses

The programme is called BusKo.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

1.7 Billion Euro from EU Funds for Croatia’s Transport Sector

ZAGREB, May 29, 2018 - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure has so far signed contracts for 58 EU-funded projects worth about 12.7 billion kuna (1.7 billion euro), which makes it the most successful government department in absorbing EU funds, Minister Oleg Butković said on Tuesday. He was speaking at a conference called "The kind of Croatia that we need - Croatia's transport future", organised by the Večernji List newspaper.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Number of Deaths in Traffic Accidents in Croatia Grows Again

277 people died on Croatian roads since the beginning of this year.

Friday, 10 November 2017

“Trip from Split to Stari Grad on Hvar Takes Longer Than 30 Years Ago!"

''It's absolutely unacceptable that in 2017 we travel more slowly than 30 years ago'', said the Municipal Mayor of Jelsa.

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