Thursday, 23 January 2020

Zagreb Aerial Tram to Sljeme Complete by June: Project Update

After 13 long years, Zagreb will finally get its aerial tram. Here's what the ride will look like. And, like it or not, we’ll have it for the next 50 years. Zagreb residents will soon be able to take the aerial tram to Sljeme again. And four months before it opens, RTL has a preview of the ride.

The Sljeme aerial tram (cable car) is almost beginning to resemble the plans for the massive project, according to Petra Mlačić/RTL Direkt on January 23, 2020. Over 11 months ago, before the first shovel broke ground, and even before that first shovel, the gondola came with a 375 million HRK (50.4 million EUR) price tag. In December 2019, ZET secured a loan for 537 million HRK (72.2 million EUR) to complete the costly endeavor. So, Zagreb will finally have an aerial tram, and it will be like no other in Europe!


Massive Zagreb Base Station Will House Offices and Parking

The massive building will be the base station, which will have a stylish glass exterior, and will be surrounded by a beautifully landscaped lawn. It will also feature a bear statue and parking for bicycles. The entire project began at the base station and that is why most of it has been completed.

There will be 80 gondolas running each day, and the entire turntable is already set up. In the evening, when the aerial tram ceases operation, everything will go to into the garage.

The gondola garage is located on the ground floor and offices will be housed on the second floor. There are also two underground floors for parking spaces. The 280 parking spaces will be available to the public after March 1.

The steel poles have been installed by the Brestovac intermediate station, the terrain protected, and track installations finished. The poles, which secure the gondolas, are from six to 38 meters high. UPDATE: See an aerial video of the project below, which was released by the City of Zagreb on January 23, 2020.

Brestovac Station Source of Controversy

The Brestovac intermediate station has caused the most public controversy. There has been talk for months about whether this station was necessary or if someone had an interest in the property. A large part of the land around Brestovac belongs to the Srebrnjak Children's Hospital, so it had to handed over to the City of Zagreb to allow that station to be built.

The Brestovac station will be much smaller than initially planned but will still function as an entry/exit station. After Brestovac, the aerial tram continues for another 800 meters to the top. The final station is currently the furthest from completion, but it was also the last to begin construction. Nevertheless, they say it will be ready by the deadline, which is May 31.

Follow our Lifestyle page to keep updated on ambitious construction projects in Croatia.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

A Tale of Concessions and Politics - Dubrovnik's Cable Car Closes

If there's one thing Dubrovnik is good at, other than walls, history, and all the rest of it, it's getting in arguments with itself.

The city that needs tourists but often doesn't really treat them how they should be treated, the city that wants cruise ship money but must also cap vessel numbers, the city full of residents who can barely breathe for being squeezed out of their homes during the summer months but with a local government unit who claims to want to tailor the city to their needs.

The Pearl of the Adriatic is a strange place and paradoxical in many ways and in a multitude of ways, its sheer beauty is only skin deep. 

The cable car, one of Dubrovnik's best attractions which rakes in eye-watering amounts of money per year, transporting hoards of view-hungry tourists up and down the majestic Srđ mountainside to the very top of the rugged mountain which towers over the city, after making them wait in the boiling hot sunshine in a long queue without any shade first, of course, has ceased its functions after much back and forth between the city and the company it belongs to.

As the stunning City of Dubrovnik appears on more and more humiliating ''avoid during summer'' lists published by major travel portals, it seems that its case of victimhood to its own popularity is becoming the least of its problems.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of April, 2019, the decision to ban the carriage of passengers by cable car up to the top of Srđ was issued in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Concessions.

Inspectors from the Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia issued a decision today on the ban on carrying out the activity of transporting passengers from Dubrovnik to Srđ by cable car, which is owned by the Excelsa Nektetnine (Real Estate) company, which belongs to the well known Lukšić family.

The decision to ban the carriage of passengers by cable car has been issued in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Concessions, and is based on the fact that the company doesn't have a concluded concession contract. The company claims that the City of Dubrovnik never delivered such a contract after that law was passed.

Otherwise, the aforementioned company claims to have been seeking a concession from the City of Dubrovnik since as far back as 2015.

"We're extremely disappointed that the Customs Administration closed the cable car on Srđ today, after nine years waiting for a concession from the Republic of Croatia and the City of Dubrovnik. This decision will jeopardise a significant number of jobs at Excelsa Nekretnine and its 343 business partners, of which 130 are from Dubrovnik. More than 1400 Excelsa Nekretnine shareholders will suffer, including more than 300 from Dubrovnik.

Damage will also be felt by the state, and by the city and its citizens. The state budget will remain without tax revenues, the City of Dubrovnik will not realise any revenue from the concession, and the citizens who use the cable car at preferential prices, as well as tourists, will remain without the use of the simplest access to Srđ. The Museum of Homeland War on Srđ, owned by the City of Dubrovnik, is expecting to see a decrease in the number of visitors it gets, and guests of the city will remain without the ability enjoy one of Dubrovnik's biggest attractions,'' said Anto Rusković, the director of Excelsa Nekretnine.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle, business and politics pages for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow. Heading to Dubrovnik and need a quick but comprehensive overview? Check out Dubrovnik in a Page.


Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik