Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Associations Request Urgent Meeting With PM Andrej Plenković on Regular Public Transport

ZAGREB, 2 June, 2021 - The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) and the SSSH trade union federation have asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for an urgent meeting on the regulation of regular public transport, stressing that if the meeting is not held, they "will be forced to take certain joint activities".

The answer and the date of the urgent meeting are expected by Friday, 4 June, at the latest, the associations said in a letter to the prime minister.

Employers and unionists say they have been "more than active" in proposing solutions and "more than patient" over the last three years, waiting for the final implementation of European and national regulations.

The HUP and the SSSH warn that the already ready legal solutions that were a prerequisite for signing contracts for regular public passenger transport on county and inter-county lines up to 100 kilometres are not implemented due to the inactivity of state administration bodies.

They also said that the decision had not yet been made on the distribution of funds from the state budget to counties, even though the funds, according to the SSSH and the HUP, had already been secured, and that public service contracts between counties and private transport companies involved in regular public passenger transport had not been signed yet.

"Private bus carriers from the HUP transport association account for 80% of the public transport on county and inter-county lines up to 100 kilometres and employ over 7,000 workers who are directly affected by such irresponsible behaviour of the relevant ministries," the HUP said.

Without a public service contract, the process of collective bargaining to improve working conditions in the transport sector is at a standstill and existing jobs are in jeopardy, they noted.

The operation of most public bus lines is at risk, especially in rural areas, and workers and private public transport providers haven't been able to plan their business and their companies' prospects for three years now, the HUP and the SSSH warned.

The HUP and the SSSH think that the government should make a decision on the distribution of funds from the state budget to counties (signatories of contracts with transport companies) at its next session.

They added that it was also necessary to stop discrimination against private bus carriers and their workers in relation to carriers owned by the public sector since private companies still didn't have public service contracts, while public companies did, for the same service.

They also think that it is necessary to continue with the job-retention subsidies for all companies that continue to register a decline in business and meet the prescribed criteria.

That is especially important, they said, for passenger transport on lines in rural areas, where the number of passengers is declining sharply, also because of the end of the school year and the holidays, and cannot be sustained without state support.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Osijek to Get Underpass, 13 Buses in Bid to Improve Public Transport System

ZAGREB, 21 May 2021 - Agreements on EU-funded grants for the construction of an underpass and for the procurement of 13 new buses for public transportation system in Osijek were signed on Friday in that eastern Croatian city.

In attendance at the ceremony was Prime Minister Andrej Plenković who said that the 93-million-kuna underpass in S. Leopolda Bogdana Mandića Street would reduce traffic jams in that part of the city.As high as 85% of this investment will be covered by the European Union's funds while the remaining 15% will be covered by the state budget.

Also, 32 million kuna will be set aside for the procurement of 13 new buses for public transportation. The 85% of the amount is also covered by funds from the EU.

All these projects are part of our policy which we have been pursuing since 2016 as part of the "Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem" project, and we have contracted 17.7 billion kuna under that programme, Plenković said.

The outgoing mayor Ivan Vrkić said that during his two mayoral terms, HRK 1.6 billion had been invested in Osijek since Croatia joined the European Union.

(€1 = HRK 7.508080)

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 7 May 2021

No ZET Trams in Novi Zagreb Over Weekend as Works Continue

May the 7th, 2021 - There will be no ZET trams running in Novi Zagreb over the weekends from the 8th until the 30th of May due to continuing works. A new bus line will be introduced to make up for the temporarily suspended tram services.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to the continuation of works on the renovation of Zagreb's famous Most Mladosti (Youth Bridge), traffic in the form of ZET trams in Novi Zagreb will be suspended on weekends (meaning more precisely on Saturdays and Sundays) from May the 8th to May the 30th, and a new bus line (607) will be introduced to make up for the missing trams which would usually be running as normal along those routes, ZET reported on its website on Thursday.

This new bus line will run along the following route: Savski most (Sava bridge) - Avenija Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik Avenue) - Drziceva (Marin Drzic Avenue) - Ulica grada Vukovara (Vukovar street).

The bus will turn in a semicircle at the intersection of Drziceva and Ulica grada Vukovara, and the entry-exit stop will be in Drziceva (near Diona) they have stated from ZET.

During the works on Most Mladosti, ZET trams, more precisely the lines 6, 7 and 14 will operate along the changed routes.

Line 6: Crnomerec - Trg bana Josipa Jelacica (Ban Jelacic square) - Glavni kolodvor (Main train station) - Autobusni kolodvor (Bus station) - Heinzelova - Zitnjak.

Line 7: Dubec - Autobusni kolodvor (Bus station) - Ulica grada Vukovara (Vukovar street) - Savski most (Sava bridge).

Line 14: Mihaljevac - Trg bana Josipa Jelacica (Ban Jelacic square) - Frankopanska (Frankopan street) - Savska cesta (Sava road) - Savski most (Sava bridge).

Instead of the tram of the night line 31, a bus will be introduced, reported ZET, which has also asked and thanked people in advanced for their understanding as the Most Mladosti works continue throughout the month of May.

For all you need to know about Zagreb in 2021, make sure to bookmark Total Croatia's Zagreb in a Page and choose your preferred language.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Kvarner Goes Green: Opatija and Rijeka Integrated Rail and Bus

January 7, 2021 – From the Bay of Bakar through the beaches of Rijeka to the opulence of Opatija and up, all the way to the border with Slovenia, Kvarner residents and visitors will be able to travel with just one ticket across the whole of the Rijeka integrated rail and bus network

An existing co-operation between rail and bus operators in Kvarner was today extended, allowing the Rijeka Integrated Rail and Bus network to continue for at least another year. This holds exciting implications for travel in the region for years to come.

Planned changes to the infrastructure of the coastal part of the north Kvarner Bay mean that within the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme, you will soon be able to travel from the Bay of Bakar, stop off at a series of Rijeka beaches, hop back on public transport to go to Opatija and even travel beyond the coast, all the way to the border with Slovenia, using just one ticket. Passengers will not be limited in their choice to travel by either aril or bus.

Autotrolej.jpg
An Autotrolej bus, longtime providers of local bus services in Rijeka © Grad Rijeka

The Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme, organised through Kvarner County, Rijeka, Matulji and Bakar Town Halls, rail and local bus operators is an eco-friendly drive that seeks to encourage people to leave their cars at home and instead choose public transport. However, access to the Rijeka integrated rail and bus network is not limited to commuting workers and travelling students. Although the scheme is most cost-effective using a monthly ticket, day tickets are available for the network which may be of huge appeal to visitors wishing to explore a wider portion of Kvarner's northern coast.

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The train station of Opatija Matulji © Damir Covic 1939 / Matulji Tourist Board

Rijeka integrated rail and bus: International

What makes the extension of the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme even more welcome is the planned overhaul of infrastructure that will accompany it.

Fifteen extra stations will be added (or reactivated) on the route between Kantrida in the west of Rijeka, along the Rijeka seafront and on to the outskirts of Bakar. Furthermore, the entire train line from Bakar to Šapjane will be brought into the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme with the completion of a second train track along the route.

Šapjane_train_station_from_Regiojet_1047_Prague_to_Rijeka.jpgTrains along the line at Šapjane. Next stop Slovenia! © DiningCar_

Šapjane, in the municipality of Matulji, lies 20 kilometres inland, north of Opatija. It sits right on the border with Slovenia. The train line extends across this border, through the Slovenian town of Ilirska Bistrica, and then on to Postojna and Ljubljana, Italy or Austria. This means the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme will be directly linked to another green, international travel network.

These routes will all be linked to the incoming, double-tracked Pan-European fast train network, which, as TCN highlighted last year, will connect this part of Kvarner with France, Spain and Portugal in the west all the way to eastern Hungary via Zagreb and Budapest. Needless to say, it will require more than a single day ticket (cvikalica) from the Rijeka integrated rail and bus network to make such a journey!

Saturday, 25 April 2020

COVID-19 in Croatia: Recommendations for Public Transportation Published

April 25, 2020 - The Croatian Institute of Public Health has issued recommendations for the transportation of passengers by trams and buses in Croatia during the coronavirus pandemic.

Index.hr reports that the recommendations are in place to protect drivers and passengers, including driver's hygiene, driving with masks, physical distance and passenger space.

The hygiene of the driver's area and his work environment is maintained by cleaning the surfaces daily with surface disinfectant. In particular, areas that are often touched by hands such as door handles, the steering wheel, worktop, and shelf for ticketing should be cleaned.

The driver is advised to wear a mask while driving if it does not interfere with safe driving. The protective mask should be changed regularly, and always when it becomes moist and wet. If possible, passengers should wear protective masks if it does not affect their breathing.

Before and after removing the mask, hands should be washed with warm water and soap or disinfected. Used disposable masks are disposed of in garbage bags that are placed in buckets with a lid.

Regular hand hygiene is required and, whenever possible, you are to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If this is not possible, disinfectants containing 70 percent alcohol are used.

Hands should be washed before entering and after leaving the vehicle, after cleaning the vehicle or when the hands are visibly dirty and in other recommended situations (after using the toilet, before eating, after wiping the nose).

The disinfectant must be available at the entrance to the vehicle, and at the entrance to the bus and tram, hand sanitation is required for the vehicle staff and passengers.

Hands, eyes, mouth and nose should not be touched because the virus can enter the body in this way, close contact with passengers and their luggage should be avoided when communicating with them, and a distance of one to two meters in daily social contact with passengers and others should be maintained. If drivers place luggage in the luggage compartment, then the hands should be disinfected afterward.

Passengers should be informed of the importance of maintaining a distance of at least one meter from each other. Precautions should be observed, especially if passengers with respiratory symptoms are observed.

The number and arrangement of passengers on the tram should be such as to allow the prescribed distance between them. It is advisable to limit the number of passengers in the tram to the number of seats.

On buses, the number and arrangement of passengers in the seats are such that they allow a prescribed distance between them. One person should be seated in a row so that they sit alternately in the left and right seats.

The recommendations also highlight the importance of being aware of the way the coronavirus is transmitted - when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes near a healthy person or by touching objects and surfaces contaminated with the respiratory secretions of an infected person, and then by touching the eyes, nose or mouth.

Therefore, it is also necessary to maintain hygiene - cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow or paper handkerchief when coughing or sneezing and then throw the handkerchief in the waste bin and wash your hands.

Regular cleaning and ventilation of the interior of the vehicle before and after driving is required. When cleaning the inside of buses and trams, special attention should be paid to window glass and handrails.

When stopping at stops, it is necessary to ventilate the passenger compartment regularly. While driving, the inside of the bus can be ventilated, but in trams and buses, it is necessary to avoid the use of air conditioning and heating.

It is recommended that windows be opened while driving, weather and temperature permitting.

Payment for tickets should be encouraged with contactless cards or bought online, and if a classic card payment or cash is used, disinfect hands after payment.

Controllers must wear a mouth and nose mask when in contact with passengers, and use disposable gloves, which must be disinfected or changed after each tram is visited, and the mask must be changed regularly as recommended.

Also, it is recommended that buses set up a physical barrier between the driver's seat and the passenger (Plexiglas or similar), and if this is not possible, the front row of seats behind the driver will not be used to transport passengers.

If driving staff or their family members develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, such as fever, sore throat, coughing, difficulty breathing, they should not go to work and notify their employer immediately.

The HZJZ points out that most of the recommendations of hygiene measures can be applied to other forms of organized road transport.

The latest recommendations can be found on the HZJZ website, and recommendations for the transportation of passengers on buses and trams provide instructions for using hand sanitizer.

As of Monday, when public and suburban public transport is reintroduced, ZET in Zagreb will launch 111 bus routes according to a custom timetable.

Thus, instead of trams in traffic, there will still be bus lines operating the routes of night tram lines (31 Crnomerec - Savski most, 32 Prečko - Borongaj, 33 Gracansko Dolje - Savišće and 34 Ljubljanica - Dubec). Tramlines will be gradually established, depending on safety assessments and the condition of the lanes they cross, ZET reported on Friday.

In order to comply with epidemiological measures, it is recommended to wear protective masks, hand disinfection, and keeping a social distance.

As of Monday, April 27, public transport of passengers on scheduled routes with the payment of tickets is restored in Split, and accordingly, the transport on special lines ceases, which was free of charge with the presentation of passes or civil protection cards.

"As of Monday, all Promet d.o.o. from Split it will operate at normal business hours, and tickets will also be available on buses from the driver. As regular public transport was abolished on March 22, all passengers who purchased the March stamps have the right to travel with this ticket until Sunday, May 10. All passengers who buy a ticket for May may be stamped with number 4 instead of 5. Namely, in order to reduce operating costs, the stamp will be used which was printed for April, but due to the interruption of bus operations, they were not put on sale," said Promet Split.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Varazdin, Medjimurje, Koprivnica-Krizevci Counties to Introduce Integrated Passenger Transport

October 2, 2019 - Medjimurje, Varazdin, and Koprivnica-Krizevci Counties will be the leaders of integrated passenger transport in Croatia. 

HRTurizam reports that in cooperation with the Varazdin, Medjimurje and Koprivnica-Krizevci counties and Croatian Railroads (HZ), and as part of the "Integrated Passenger Transport (IPP)" project by the Railway Association, an agreement was signed at the beginning of the year for the "Integrated Passenger Transport Master Plan".

With this agreement, HZ Passenger Transport and the three northern counties begin active cooperation in the implementation of measures that will, in the long run, result in establishing integrated passenger transport throughout the three counties. This means that in a few years, we will have a public transport system where the passenger will be able to easily combine train and bus lines with a single transport ticket and arrive at almost any location in the three counties throughout the day.

It is important to note that Integrated Passenger Transport is applied by all developed regions of Europe and the world. Experts are unique in assessing that such a system provides quality access to the entire urban, suburban and rural areas in a region, and it significantly improves the quality of life and competitiveness of the economy, since workers can easily and conveniently reach their jobs and meet many other needs without using a car. This means that there is less traffic congestion, that no parking is required, the environment is less polluted and the transport system as a whole is safer.

"For the past five years, we have seen a 10 percent drop in public transport, while the European Union has grown steadily. A small number of lines, inefficient systems, and obsolete rolling stock are a major problem for the rail and bus systems, and a transformation of the entire system is needed that will only come to life if we start thinking about traffic and the way these three counties think. We are entering a period where more than ever will be invested in railway infrastructure and the development of railway transport, and I am glad that it is precisely Medjimurje, Varazdin and Koprivnica-Krizevci County that will be the first and the leaders of integrated transport in Croatia for the benefit of our citizens and economy,” stated Nikolina Brnjac, State Secretary for Transport at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.

"In the area of Medjimurje County, we carry about 2 million passengers a year, and because of these passengers it is important to improve the functionality of transport and contribute to their mobility," concluded the President of the Board of HZ Passenger Transport, Zeljko Ukic.

The total value of the project is 5.2 million kuna - each of the counties has set aside around 260,000 kuna, and EU funds cover the rest. The project also plans to build and modernize a new high-efficiency line between Cakovec-Varazdin-Lepoglava-Zabok, and a feasibility study is underway, with plans to complete the works by September 2020, said Varazdin County prefect Radimir Cacic.

Also, a study on a new network of bus lines for these three counties is being prepared, and the plan is to establish a so-called "pilot line" consisting of trains and buses and introduce a single map for both modes of transport. The pilot line, for which only one ticket will be sufficient, should cross the route Varazdin - Lepoglava - Bednja - Trakoscan, with a changeover in Lepoglava, and Varazdin - Ludbreg - Mali Bukovec, with a changeover in Ludbreg. 

"In three counties, the train and bus routes will be harmonized, there will be about 20 departures in the main routes from morning to late at night, all of which can be used by purchasing a single transport ticket," said Cacic.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Zagreb's ZET Public Transport to Introduce Brand New Type of Ticket

Zagreb's ZET is set to introduce a brand new ticket. Whether or not Zagreb's citizens will actually purchase it is another story.

ZET's transport is plagued by people who for various reasons refuse to pay for its use. Excuses range from being dissatisfied by the quality of the vehicle, feeling the route is too long, or simply just wanting to get something for free.. This habit is known in Croatian as švercanje, and avoiding getting caught by a controller and paying a 250 kuna fine is a favourite ''extreme sport'' among many of Zagreb's residents.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of March, 2019, in kiosks permitted to sell ZET tickets, there will be three types of carts available for use on ZET vehicles, and exactly that same amount of different tickets will be available for purchase directly from the driver when on the vehicle itself. In other words, tickets costing four, seven and ten kuna will be available to buy from the driver, and these are valid for half an hour, an hour and an hour and a half of travel.

There will be the ability to purchase ZET tickets for six, ten and fifteen kuna from the driver, and these will also be worth half an hour, one hour, and ninety minutes, as they have stated from ZET adding that, in principle, only one brand new ticket will be introduced, which comes with a new six kuna price tag.

As Večernji list writes, the ticket which costs 10 kuna purchased from the driver will still have to visually differ from those purchased at kiosks, as it will not be valid for the same time period.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just the Croatian capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow for everything you need to know that's going on in the city.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Velika Gorica Residents to Pay More for Zagreb Public Transport?

Velika Gorica locals aren't happy as as yet unofficial information that ZET could charge them more to use public transport that connects them to the capital has leaked to the media.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of January, 2019, Every year, Velika Gorica ZET subsidises about ten million kuna for the Zagreb-based company to be able to connect the Croatian capital city with other nearby areas around Velika Gorica, such as Mraclin, Poljana Čička, Strmec Bukevski, Kozjača... ZET is in charge of all sixteen lines which travel to these areas, and the contract whch was initially signed is now about to expire, which is why negotiations on extensions have begun.

But the subsidy that Velika Gorica pays to ZET could, according to the first calculations which have been discussed unofficially from that company, be even higher in the coming period. The news quickly spread to local media, leading concerned Velika Gorica residents to rightfully ask: Does this mean more expensive public transport?

''That's just what we're missing! God forbid that we get new buses for the residents in the neighbourhood. They're cold inside, the wind blows from all sides, they're old and they all shake,'' reads just one of the irritated comments caused by the news about possible price increases. Those who have been using bus number 268, which they have referred to as the "line from hell" connecting Velika Gorica to Zagreb don't sound much happier, either.

"We should negotiate more convenient transportation with regard to the condition they're in - there are often defective vehicles, unpleasant drivers, constant delays or skipping departures,'' added one Velike Gorica resident, adding that the monthly workers card costs as much as 610 kuna. Still, there is no official confirmation of the ticket price increase as yet, and Velika Gorica's administration have said that they will do anything to make sure their residents don't need to pay more.

''Negotiations are in progress and we can't say anything more specifically until they're over. The expiration contract lasted for ten years, it was signed in 2009, and the signing of the next one is a matter of agreement,'' they say from Velika Gorica. This is very similar to what they are saying from ZET, and details about the contract are still as yet unknown.

''However, as of now, the quality of service and passenger satisfaction are our imperatives, and Velika Gorica and ZET are socially sensitive partners and take care of the needs of all public transport users,'' they say from ZET.

The concession contract extension, or the possibility for a new one to be signed without the announcement of a public tender was made possible by a decision by Mayor Dražen Barišić back in 2017, and the majority of that was adopted by the City Council, but only if the contract is signed under the exact same conditions as previously, so it is not yet clear how these proposed price hikes could potentially fit into a new contract.

For news and everything you need to know as and when it happens, stay up to date by following our dedicated news page. If it's just the capital and the surrounding areas you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

Friday, 18 January 2019

ZET Changing Things Up, Removing Fifteen Kuna Tickets

Although ZET's fifteen kuna ticket that can be purchased in vehicles has hardly been a celebrated move, the four kuna ticket is still very much a hit among public transport users.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of January, 2019, from the first day of next month, it will be possible to buy a new ticket at a lower price on ZET's buses and trams. Currently only the somewhat unpopular fifteen kuna ticket is currently available.

From February onwards, passengers on ZET's public buses and trams will be able to purchase tickets costing six and ten kuna, and the cheapest ones, standing at a price of four kuna, will still be available but only at kiosks, as opposed to on the vehicle itself.

"The tickets are currently being made because they will be different from those that can be bought from outside the vehicle and will have ''bought from the driver'' written on them,'' stated ZET's Anto Jelić.

He told Vecernji list that he believed that the six and ten kuna tickets would fully extinguish those currenty costing fifteen kuna, which have proved rather unpopular. As he explained, the new one that will be able to be bought for six kuna will be worth half an hour of travel, just like the one that one can currently buy outside of the tram or bus for four kuna.

In kiosks and sales points which are able to sell ZET tickets, you will be able to purchase a half an hour ticket costing four kuna, a one hour ticket of seven kuna and a one hour and thirty minute ticket of ten kuna. Tickets costing six and ten kuna will also be available for purchase in ZET's buses and trams themselves.

"This will now be a relief for both drivers and passengers, which is what we ultimately wanted," added Jelić.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated news page. If it's just the Croatian capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Autotrolej from Rijeka Gains Interest of German Transport Group

The German carrier is one of the largest providers of passenger transport services in Europe, employing more than 60,000 people and achieving more than 2.2 billion journeys. Is Rijeka's Autotrolej, which has found itself enfeebled by a lack of drivers, forcing it to cut certain routes, in for a stroke of luck?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of January, 2019, the Croatian subsidiary of the popular German carrier Arriva wants to take over Rijeka's Autotrolej, as has since been confirmed by Arriva Croatia itself, which has already acquired ownership of Autotrans, one of the largest passenger carriers in the segment of passenger transport in the Republic of Croatia.

"We're interested in all forms of cooperation, so taking the entire share of ownership of KD Autotrolej also comes into it, of course, provided that there is a common interest and a healthy economic base," stated Marina Pandurević, Managing Director of Arriva Croatia for Novi list.

This very concise response came after the company was asked about the situation following information about Arriva's taking over of Autotrans and potential interest in taking over or entering into some sort of business partnership with Rijeka's Autotrolej having surfaced.

The large transport company confirmed that they are definitely interested in buying Autotrolej or entering into a sort of partnership with the current co-owners, therefore entering into business with Autotrolej as a logical continuation of their business in the Republic of Croatia, based on the experience of public transport in very many other European cities.

As stated, Arriva is one of Europe's largest passenger transport service providers, employing more than 60,000 people and achieving more than 2.2 billion journeys. The group operates in fourteen European countries offering a wide range of public transport services to suit all needs.

Make sure to stay up to date with the situation with Autotrolej and on public transport in Croatia in general by following our dedicated news, business and lifestyle pages for much more.

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