Sunday, 14 August 2022

Zagreb's Public Transport ZET Embarks on Much Needed Modernisation

August the 14th, 2022 - Zagreb's iconic blue trams and buses belonging to ZET (Zagreb electric tram) are set to undergo some much needed modernisation as Croatia finally begins properly entering the digital age.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, ZET recently presented a few novelties with which it plans to modernise passenger transport offered in the Croatian capital city on the whole. In the trams, they will install screens that will actually show the tram's route, how long it takes to get to the next station, as well as which other lines passengers can be transferred to.

As part of the project to modernise and upgrade the city's traffic control and management system, ZET is testing out some modern new screens that will make it easier for passengers to navigate the traffic system.

"For example, the screens will contain a graphic representation of the stops along a particular route, as well as a display of the time it takes the vehicle to reach the next stop or the final destination. In addition, when the tram is arriving at the next stop, information about other lines that use that stop, both tram and bus lines, will be displayed. So, passengers will have information about the possibility of further transfers should they need them,'' ZET spokesman Domagoj Zeba told HRT.

The screens will also provide information on the traffic situation, for example when traffic is diverted due to an accident. Such an idea is very welcome to passengers.

"It's great, especially for people who aren't from Zagreb and come here for whatever reason and use the trams and buses, so that they can get the information they need,'' said ZET user Ilonka.

An information screen is currently being tested in one of ZET's trams and is being tested out along different routes every day, and by the end of the year, the plan is to equip about fifty trams with these new screens.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Zagreb's ZET to Introduce New Timetable as Changes Take Place

March the 14th, 2022 - Some changes are coming to Zagreb's ZET public transport system owing to global logistics chains and there will be some alterations in the timetable as a result.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of today (Monday the 14th of March) ZET will be introducing a new timetable for the capital city's means of public transport that will reduce the number of departures on most tram lines and thirteen bus lines.

To be more precise, all of the current tram lines except 1, 5, 8 and 15 will be running less often. Line 4 will, for example, instead of every 7-8 minutes from the turnoff, leave every 8-9 minutes, meaning that in one hour there will be five to six departures instead six to seven.

This new ZET timetable, they say, is being introduced due to "global circumstances affecting supply and logistics chains". You can see the new timetable by clicking here.

A new schedule for ZET departures will also be applied in bus traffic, but only on lines 109 (Crmomerec - Dugave), 115 (Ljubljanica - Spansko - Jankomir), 118 Trg Mazuranica - Voltino), 121 (Crnomerec - Karaznik - Gajnice), 125 (Crnomerec - Gornje Vrapce), 172 Zagreb (Crnomerec) - Zapresic, 212 (Dubec - Sesvete), 224 (Dubec - Novoselec), 226 (Kaptol - Remete - Svetice), 231 (Borongaj - Dubec), 232 (Dubrava - Cret) ), 269 (Borongaj - Sesvetski Kraljevec) and 281 (Central Station - Novi Jelkovec) as was reported from ZET.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Seeing as you're already reading about tram and bus lines in the Croatian capital, why not have a look at just where they can take you? Check out Zagreb in a Page.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Could Croatian Public Services Grind to a Halt Under Omicron Pressure?

January the 29th, 2022 - Croatian public services are under a lot of pressure as Omicron puts many ZET (Zagreb electric tram) drivers into self-isolation. Could the situation become unsustainable?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Omicron is spreading like wildfire through Croatian public services, and due to the large number of employees on sick leave or in self-isolation, some basic functioning issues have been caused.

The most dramatic situation at the moment can be found in Zagreb's ZET, which is lacking as many as 390 bus and tram drivers. Every fifth ZET driver is off work.

"I'm familiar with the problems ZET is dealing with at the minute. The new strain of the novel coronavirus has created some major problems in public affairs. A large number of employees working for Croatian public services are in self-isolation. This is difficult to organise properly as we're learning that drivers are becoming infected literally overnight. Some corrections have been made as far as the lines are concerned, the schedule has been reduced, but all in all, I don't think that people are overly affected by this situation,'' said Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic.

Railway traffic is also in trouble, and HZ passenger traffic (putnicki prijevoz) is afraid that this is just the beginning. One line, on the Osijek-Bizovac route, has already been interrupted.

"On Thursday and Friday, passengers will be transported by buses on that line. There's a noticeable upward trend in the illness of our employees and our employees being put into self-isolation,'' they said from HZ. At the moment, 19 workers who are employed as train staff and 21 workers who are machine staff aren't at work, and another 12 of them are in self-isolation owing to coronavirus infection, Jutarnji list writes.

In Zagreb's Cistoca, on the other hand, a concerning number of 70 workers are currently on sick leave, and there are only 2050 of them all together. So far, they say, this doesn't seriously affect their functioning, but it might. Coronavirus is also being regularly encountered at the Student Centre here in the capital. There are currently 45 workers in self-isolation.

"Existing workers are being redeployed to Student Centre restaurants where the sick leave rate has increased, so we're bridging this situation," director Mirko Bosnjak explained.

The situation is a bit better for the Public Fire Brigade in the City of Zagreb, as there are currently only 3 coronavirus positive employees, and 3 more are in self-isolation.

"We have a total of 330 workers, and we've been lucky, if I may say so, that not too many of them became infected at once, it's been happening little by little,'' revealed Commander Sinisa Jembrih.

Other Croatian public services which don't immediately spring to mind like ZET drivers might are also facing issues. Customs officers are very much struggling with the spread of Omicron. At the moment, 106 of them are infected or in self-isolation, but the Customs Administration has assured Jutarnji list that the traffic of goods and passengers across border crossings, as well as at internal customs offices, is being dealt with regularly.

"Constant chaos"

Varazdin County has had no particular problems with people being off sick or needing to be in self-isolation while working for the Croatian public services there, but it does have a problems with school and education system employees. the students of three schools are still taking online classes due to the spread of Omicron among their teachers. This number is posing an issue every day and recently a further 31 teachers became infected, and 15 of them were placed in self-isolation.

Medjimurje residents have a bigger problem with their local healthcare workers, although so far there are have been no real problems with the organisation of their work. There are about 30 employees currently ''out of service'' due to coronavirus.

Over in Pula, due to the current situation with the spread of Omicron, most of the Croatian public services affected are the General Hospital and the Teaching Institute for Emergency Medicine. According to the director of the Pula General Hospital, Irena Hrstic, this month alone, 155 of their staff fell ill, out of a total of about 900 employees. Of course, these aren't all solely health professionals.

"We're in a state of chaos all the time, so that hasn't changed. But, we're working and covering ourselves as much as we can, so we do double, triple and all kinds of shifts,'' she pointed out.

In the Vukovar-based utility company Komunalac, which provides waste collection services in the city, there are 35 workers out of 223 sick or in self-isolation, which is almost 16 percent of the total number of their employees. However, according to the company's director Igor Strangarevic, they're still managing to do everything they need to do.

In the Osijek Public Utility Company, 10 out of 88 firefighters are off work, which is why, according to Commander Zoran Paksec, they've shifted their work into three shifts, so people rotate more often.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

As Many As 390 Drivers of Zagreb Public Transport Company on Sick Leave

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - Zagreb's public transportation company ZET reported on Thursday that currently 390 tram and bus drivers were on sick leave, mainly due to infection with coronavirus or self-isolation and therefore some delays were inevitable.

This city company has 266 trams and 480 buses in its fleet. The company transports more than a million passengers on a daily basis.

ZET says in its response to Hina's inquiry that it can provide electronic notes of excuses for commuting workers and students who happen to be late to work or school due to the current situation in public transport.

The company also asks the users of its services to have an understanding of these developments.

Mayor Tomislav Tomašević admitted today that the sick leaves were the main problem for ZET to provide services in public transport in a timely fashion.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Zagreb Mayor: Amendment to City Budget To Increase Kindergarten Capacity

ZAGREB, 7 Dec, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said on Tuesday that an amendment put forward by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the city budget proposal for 2022 would be accepted to increase kindergarten capacity in the capital city amid plans to phase out allowances for stay-at-home parents.

The SDP is a junior partner in the city assembly to Tomašević's We Can! party.

"We plan an amount of HRK 52 million, which is twice as much money as the average in the past five years. An additional HRK 15 million will be set aside to rent facilities to serve as temporary kindergartens," he said.

The mayor said that an amendment regarding the stay-at-home parent scheme, put forward by the opposition HDZ party, would not be accepted.

"They asked that we take around HRK 200 million in subsidies from the ZET (city public transport company) to compensate for the decrease in allowances for stay-at-home parents. That would make ZET a lossmaker and prevent it from applying for EU funds," he explained.

Tomašević said that the opposition Bridge party was late with submitting an amendment regarding teaching assistants, which was why it could not be accepted but added that an even higher increase in the hourly wage for those assistants would be accepted, to make it amount to HRK 30. The mayor said he hoped next year money for that purpose would be obtained from EU funds.

The city administration will propose the City Assembly a budget in the amount of HRK 15.12 billion, which is 1.1 billion more than the revised budget for 2021.

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Friday, 19 November 2021

Price Hike for ZET Tickets? Tomislav Tomasevic Hints at Increase

November the 19th, 2021 - ZET tickets could be a target for an increase as things in Zagreb's city administration shift considerably under a mayor who is very different indeed to the late Milan Bandic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the budget of the City of Zagreb next year should end with a surplus of 300 million kuna. This is perhaps the biggest sensation for the capital's budget, which was presented recently by Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic.

The budget will total 15 billion and 120 million kuna, which is an increase of one billion and one hundred million kuna when compared to last year. The reason is the costs of loans, interest and loans to banks and the state, which are 700 million kuna higher than last year, and the city government intends to cover those 700 million kuna with savings. The largest of them is the abolition of the parent-educator measure, and the plan there is to save as much as 283 million kuna. Other savings will be spent on salaries, fees, IT equipment, and material costs.

Total revenues will be higher by as much as one billion and 500 million kuna, and the biggest item in the increase in revenue is the sale of city property in the amount of 680 million kuna. Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic spoke about everything recently as a guest on RTL Direkt.

"In four years, the previous government has accumulated a deficit of 1 billion and 300 million kuna and now we have to accumulate a surplus of 300 to 300 over the next four years to reduce any late payments because the accumulated deficit turned into overdue liabilities that we inherited. To reduce delays we need to go into a surplus. This is the first time the city budget has even planned a surplus,'' he said, adding that Zagreb needs to find room for a surplus to offset the accumulated deficit.

When asked about potential ZET ticket price increases, he said that his new administration would get to that and that huge subsidies were planned for ZET, the city's public transport system.

“We finance almost 80 percent of ZET's costs from the city budget. There will still be free tickets for socially vulnerable groups of pensioners and students,'' he said.

That said, it looks like ZET tickets are due to be more expensive.

"As for ZET tickets, we'll wait for the new management of ZET to come into the story. The budget includes investments, we're going to purchase 20 low-floor trams that we plan to finance from the NPOO, which is a value of 300 million kuna in the next four years,'' Tomasevic stated.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

ZET Syndicate Boss: Zagreb Public Transport Tickets to Increase in Price

October the 16th, 2021 - The price of Zagreb public transport tickets is set to increase as a decision is made at the helm of ZET (Zagreb Electric Tram).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in a recent interview with HRT, the president of the ZET syndicate, Drazen Jovic, announced a rise in Zagreb public transport ticket prices due to rising energy prices.

"Given the prices of derivatives, the prices of gas, construction materials, and some kind of creeping inflation, it is quite clear that there will be and that there should be a correction in the prices of Zagreb public transport tickets," said Jovic.

"One ticket will probably cost around 8 kuna. It's difficult to calculate exactly how much these tickets should be, but yes, they'll probably be around 8 kuna, which would be approximately realistic given the current price increases," Jovic said. That said, most won't be happy with a 50% price increase on a 30 minute ticket, which currently costs a mere 4 kuna.

He added that the existing tickets of 4, 7 and 10 kuna should all be combined into one ticket with a single price, which is also likely to irritate many Zagreb public transport users who feel like they'll be being robbed of both time and money.

Jovic also said that ZET subsidies range on average from 500 to 700 million kuna a year and that the difference in tickets is subsidised.

"ZET will never have a ticket being sold at a real market price because it would be absolutely unacceptable to Zagreb public transport's end users," he added, despite the sentiment from many that this price hike in itself won't be very popular among the city's commuters.

"I think people should be quite honestly told that there will be a rise in prices," Jovic stated, adding that believes that the price of communal services is also set to increase.

''Considering the derivatives, and looking atthe overall situation, I think that the people of Zagreb should be honestly told that there will be a rise in prices on the horizon. This situation is certainly unsustainable in terms of utilities, and that ranges from cleanliness all the way to transportation itself,'' said Jovic.

 -16For more on Zagreb's public transport system and what you can use it to see in the bustling capital, why not check out Zagreb in a Page in the language of your choice?

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Zagreb Mayor: ZET Ticket Prices to Remain Unchanged for Now

September the 6th, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic has been shaking things up in the post-Bandic Croatian capital following years of alleged mismanagement and scandals. As things alter and as the Zagreb cable car project continues to cause issues, Tomasevic has assured that ZET ticket prices are to remain the same - at least for now.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Sunday, the Mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomasevic, said that for now, ZET ticket prices will remain unchanged and that they are doing everything they can to prevent any increase in the price of tickets for the use of the city's public transport system.

"For now, these ZET ticket prices will remain as they are. We're doing everything we can to prevent the increase in the price of public transport,'' Tomasevic told reporters at Ban Jelacic Square, where he participated in the action of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development called #ZaZeleniSvakiDan/ForGreenEveryDay''.

He confirmed that ZET definitely does have debts, because, as he explained, it took out a loan of half a billion kuna for the realisation of the deeply problematic Sljeme cable car, loan installments are already needing to be paid, and there is no income yet. "So the cable car is a big weight for ZET's business," Tomasevic warned.

He explained that ZET, which is marking its 130th anniversary, operates in such a way that the vast majority of costs are covered directly from the city budget through a subsidy paid out to the city company.

The mayor says that this year, in order to cover the loss that will occur, which ZET didn't plan for, he will have to provide a larger amount for the subsidy in the rebalance of the city budget than was planned this year.

He didn't want to say what the amount of the subsidy will be and whether there will be a shift in the way ZET does things, and he announced that he will talk more about it next week when he will present the supplementary budget of the City of Zagreb.

He also announced that he would do everything to improve public transport in Zagreb, and called on people to use that transport as much as possible and leave their cars at home whenever they can in order to help protect the environment.

He says that they have talked to some ministers about the Sljeme cable car, but they haven't yet had time to talk to some of the people they need to. He also noted that they have an administrative dispute on their hands over the use permit for the planned Sljeme cable car and that the dispute will go on in court for some time yet.

However, regardless of the dispute, he announced that works will be done that will reduce the noise of the Sljeme cable car, because, as he pointed out, the cost of these works is lower compared to the cost that arises every month because the cable car isn't in function.

"So, it will be another new cost, but again not so much in relation to this cost that occurs every month because the cable car isn't moving and has no income," concluded Tomasevic.

For more, make sure to follow our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Zagreb’s ZET Marks 130 Years of Public Transport in City

ZAGREB, 5 Sept, 2021 - Zagreb's public transport company ZET on Sunday marked its 130th anniversary in memory of 5 September 1891 when the first horse-driven tram carriage service started in the city.

Therefore the Zagreb Municipal Transit System or ZET (standing for the Zagrebacki Elektricni Tramvaj company) observes 5 September as the anniversary day of the beginning of the organised city transport system.

The first electric tramcar was put in service in the streets of Zagreb on 18 August 1910. In one year's time, the network of electric street cars replaced horse-driven trams.

In 1931, ZET included buses for the first time as the new mode of public transport in Zagreb. ZET operates a funicular from downtown to uptown Zagreb, which is the shortest funicular route in the world.

The ceremonies marking the 130 anniversary include a concert of pop songs aboard an open-top ZET bus.

This city company has 266 trams in its fleets, and 142 of them are low-floor trams. ZET has 480 buses.

The company transports more than a million passengers on a daily basis.

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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

ZET Public Transport Could Get New Multifunctional "Smart" Handrails

April the 14th, 2021 - Zagreb's ZET public transport system could be set to get its hands on some brand new multifunctional equipment which would boast similar services as some smart watches currently on the market.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, there has been little to no tourism for not only Croatia but for the majority of the world over the last year, and Igor Knezevic, the owner of an agency for renting out apartments and events, had a choice of whether to sit at home being irritated and twiddling his thumbs or to come up with something new.

He chose the latter and a new challenge, a project that suits the times in which we live, which he believes has great potential in the country, but for outside of Croatia.

A pilot and engineer by profession, Knezevic designed the "smart handrail" Smart Medico intended for public transport, a device modelled on smart watches which measure a person's heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. He is now in the final phases of the development of this project and is looking for partners with whom he could apply for money from European Union (EU) funds.

"As I normally deal with air transport and tourism, and all of that stopped because of the pandemic, I decided to dedicate myself to investing in the development of a socially beneficial project. Given the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed to me that such a product could meet the interest of both the public and the public sector.
As an engineer, I independently developed and made a prototype device with 3D printing that is suitable for installation in vehicles, and we plan to enter the market this year,'' explained Igor Knezevic. His smart handrails can be placed in all public transport vehicles, could find itselt in the capital's ZET public transport system, and shows passengers the current condition of their body.

The product is protected and registered and is ready for production at a price of about 300-400 kuna per device. The device is not registered as a medical instrument, but serves instead as something useful for general users, and plays a similar role as the services offered by a smartwatch.

"A lot of public transport users don't use smartphones or smartwatches, nor do they have such applications which could boast similar services as our handrail can. On the other hand, market research has shown us that people are usually very interested in learning something about their current physical condition, which is why they're also frequent visitors to pharmacies that offer similar measurement services. These people are our potential beneficiaries,'' explained Knezevic, who is currently in the initial stages of talks with public institutions and companies that could be interested in cooperation.

As this is a socially useful product, intended for the general public, Knezevic believes that this is an excellent project for which he could apply for funds from the European Fund for Civil Society Development, and the project holders can be companies such as the ZET public transport system.

"So far, we've only informed them about what we have on offer and I expect that in the coming period there will be negotiations with ZET public transport, but also other carriers and other cities. They showed interest in our product in Graz, and Maribor is on our list for negotiations, to which we're just now sending out all the details about the product,'' he stated.

He explained that the handrail also boasts anti-theft protection, and after giving someone details about their body temperature and the like, it is automatically reset, so there is no possibility of data misuse. The Austrians, for example, could be tempted by such a device as they are interested in doing research on the state of health in the population using anonymous samples taken from trams and buses.

Knezevic is convinced that there will be interest in his innovation, and not only from Zagreb's ZET public transport, but from others too. He isn't intending on stopping there either, after the smart handrail, the development of a similar device will follow.

For more on Croatian innovative, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

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