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KRAKÓW

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About Krakow

Krakow Main Square
The city of Krakow

Located in the Southern part of Poland, with 760,000 inhabitants, Krakow is one of the biggest cities in the country. The unique historical, cultural and scientific character is still dominating the economic and touristic development of the city: Krakow is listed in the UN’s World Natural and Cultural Heritage, was the “cultural capital” of Europe in 2000, welcomes about 8 million tourists per year and the “Jagiellonian University” with some 140000 students is one of the oldest universities in Central and Eastern Europe.

For several years, the focus of a severe industrial restructuring was to reduce the environmental footprint, to stimulate the transition towards innovative and more efficient technologies and to decrease the cost of production. The strategy of the city development is to reinforce the metropolitan functions of Krakow as a European centre of culture, arts, science, tourism, services and modern industry as well as to further improve of the quality of life for its residents.
 

The general transport situation in Krakow

Despite growing car ownership Krakow still has a very positive modal split where about 60% of trips are made by public transport (trams and buses). However, city growth coupled with rising numbers of vehicles, a greater mobility and years of negligence of road maintenance, have made the street infrastructure and the public transport the most challenging topics in Krakow. In the city centre there is limited traffic zone introduced and only pedestrian areas as well. There are about 18,000 parking spaces, mainly on streets and sidewalks, which makes problems for pedestrians and cyclists. Parking in this area is charged about 1 €/h, while commercial off-street parking costs 2.30 €/h. In the future, the zones of constrained traffic and parking will be extended and underground parking lots implemented to free more space for pedestrians.

The public transport operator MPK owns 493 city buses (most of them are modern low-floor buses with engines fulfilling highest European emissions norms) and 424 tram wagons serving altogether 153 lines. There are about 350 million passengers transported per year. About 50 % of the tramway network of 84 km is separated from the road traffic.

The city’s transportation policy, updated in July 2007, aims to create an efficient, safe, economic and environmentally friendly transport system for passengers and goods which requests comprehensive master planning, transport design and project management and considerable investments. Key priorities are bus lanes, tramway tracks, efficient traffic control ensuring priority for and punctuality of public transport and access restrictions to the old city centre.

Older people’s mobility in Krakow

The City of Krakow offers some facilities for older people as far as the public transport for elder generation is concerned. Firstly, people older than 70 are offered with free public transport (PT) tickets, whereas retired people are allowed to travel by PT with special discounts. Secondly, most of the trams and buses have low floor, so that older people are able to get on the vehicle in an easier and safer way. Moreover, trams in Krakow are equipped with additional handrails at the entrances. There are also special seats for elderly people, signed in a visible way.

As far as the PT infrastructure is concerned, most of the platforms were modernized and street level adjusted to level of pavements in order to ease entrance. Lot of the stops is common for bus and trams in order to change the mode of transport more easily, more comfortably and more safely.

Krakow can be proud also of one of the innovative PT solutions, i.e. of the “Tele bus” service, which was launched in July 2007 within CIVITAS CARAVEL EU project. The idea of this service was to enable citizens living in suburbs or in the area, where usual PT service is not available often in regular hours because of the low population of these areas. Thanks to the “Tele bus” service, inhabitants are able to organise PT on demand on a concrete day and hour by the telephone.

The pedestrian environment has been also improved significantly. Traffic lights are equipped with the sound or voice information about signal lights, which is a great solution especially for those who have problems with sight. There are lifts installed at the biggest crossroads facilitating the movement of older people. Lower curbs at the crossroads should be mentioned as well.

Finally, citizens have the opportunity to participate in a decision-making process by engagement of district councils in creation of new solutions in a PT organisation, infrastructure building, and routes designing.

Krakow activities in AENEAS

Krakow is currently implementing three main activities/concepts:

  1. Assistance service at major public transport interchanges,

  2. Safer public transport for older people,

  3. Marketing and information campaign about energy efficient transport for older people.

The first one aims to increase the attractiveness of PT for older people and to enable them to travel independently. For that reason two big PT interchanges in Kraków will be equipped with a dedicated staff helping senior passengers with getting on and off the vehicles, with purchasing the tickets or providing them with the necessary information (connected e.g. with the appropriate bus/tram lines, with the changes in the communication system etc.). The abovementioned service will be launched in April 2010 at two the so called double stops in the region of Hala Targowa (very popular within older people market place). The trained assistants will offer their help 5 days a week (from Monday till Friday), from 9 a.m. till 12 a.m. In addition, campaign promoting this new service will be conducted.

As far as the second measure is concerned, it aims to raise the level of safety and security feelings in the PT among older people and to sensitize society on the older people’s requirements in the context of their mobility in PT due to a campaign promoting appropriate behaviors towards older passengers of PT.

In December 2009 the series of 5 workshops for children (aged 12-14) took place in some schools. The main objectives of these meetings were: to raise the awareness of children about the requirements and needs of older people in the context of their mobility in PT, and to sensitize them for these needs.

The workshops were conducted by the Centre of the Educational Prevention “Kangur” with the attendance of 101 children.

Workshops were one of the elements of the abovementioned campaign. Probably also posters prepared by the famous Polish drawer-satirist will appear in 100 places in the city. In a delicately humoristic manner they will support the whole Krakow’s action. Posters will also be put up in Krakow’s schools; they will be visible in the PT vehicles and in the local media. If the whole action goes well, posters will appear at the late spring 2010.

Kraków is also planning to implement new transport solutions such as: the installment of photocell on the stairs of one of the high-floor trams and of the additional handrails to the inner ticket machines installed in the 50 buses. All those measures are to raise the feeling of safety and security among older passengers during their travels made by PT. What is more, 50 places in the buses of one of Krakow’s PT operator designed for older people will be marked in a better way with the pictogram of older person.

The main idea of the third measure is to make elder people aware about the advantages of energy-efficient travels. On this occasion, various events were organized within the last year European Mobility Week with the special thought of older people. During one day older citizens of Krakow could benefit from payment free medical examination, make themselves familiar with the functioning of the Bicycle Renting System BIKEONE- Kraków, participate in the bicycle rally, subscribe to the mobility workshops organized for older people or listen to advises of the National Board for the Safety of the Road Traffic. What is more, the citizens of Krakow could also take part in the Mobility Forum, which was the opportunity to make oneself familiar with the AENEAS project, to discuss about Krakow’ s measures in the project and about all problems that older people are faced with in Krakow. The Vice-Mayor of Krakow, Prof. Wiesław Starowicz took also part in the discussion.

At the moment, all the works connected with the information brochure for seniors (“The Transport System in Krakow without secrets”) are being finalized. The brochure will be printed in 10 000 copies and it will include all necessary information about Krakow’s transport system in the context of older people.

From September till November 2009 the mobility workshops for older people took place in Krakow. They consisted of 3 training sessions, during which seniors could:

  • become acquainted with the rules of safety obligatory when using PT (this part was organized in a tram),

  • learn how to operate the inner-vehicle ticket machines and try to buy a ticket on their own,

  • to get to know the functioning system of the automatic machine of Krakow’s Municipal Card.

About 250 persons participated in the workshops. Workshops were very highly graded by the participants- the organization of the workshop was evaluated with 4,92 / 5. Each part of the workshops received more than 4,8 / 5 (i.e. essential content and the utility).


Workshops for older people, October 2009


Workshops for older people, October 2009


Workshops for older people, October 2009


Workshops for children, December 2009


The information brochure for seniors

 


Further information and contact

The City Website

Tomasz Zwoliński
Tomasz.Zwolinski@um.krakow.pl

Dariusz Niewitała
Dariusz.Niewitala@um.krakow.pl

Municipality of Krakow
City Infrastructure Office
Tel. (+48)12 616-8748, +(48) 12616-8780

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Strona w języku polskim
 

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