Development of public transport
The high-speed agglomeration railway
The high-speed agglomeration railway (SKA) is of particular importance to the inhabitants of Krakow’s towns as well as the inhabitants of Krakow, because thanks to it, we will all reach faster and more conveniently to the city center. The Kraków railway junction has a radial layout and will allow you to travel in six directions: Balice Airport; Krzeszowice – direction Katowice; Zastów – the direction of Miechów; Podłęże – direction of Tarnów; Wieliczka Market Square; Skawina – direction Wadowice. SKA will have six interchanges: Kraków Główny, Prądnicka, Bronowice, Balice, Batowice, Powstańców Wielkopolskich and Bieżanów. Residents of the nearby agglomerations will not have to enter the city, leave their car behind the house or in the parking lot near the station and take the train, which will take them to the Main Railway Station in a few dozen minutes. Ultimately, SKA is expected to launch three lines: (launched partly on December 11, 2016) (launched on December 13, 2015 on the section between Sędziszów and Kraków Główny and extended on December 10, 2017 to Skawina) (launched partly on December 14, 2014, and total 28 September 2015).
Reducing the number of cars
The city plans to reduce the number of cars on the streets by about 30 percent during the day compared to 2013. Increased funds for collective communication or the construction of new roads for bicycles are to encourage drivers to choose a tram, bus or bike (system public Wavelo bike) instead of a car. For a more efficient movement of buses around the city, Kraków – as the first city in Poland – has designated special bus lanes, currently 20 km. The city also does not forget about pedestrians, undertakes a number of activities so that they can move quickly and efficiently in the very center.
More passengers - more lines
However, the growing number of public transport passengers makes the city take more bolder actions. After years of analysis, at the end of 2019, a document will be ready to decide how to develop urban mass transport in the coming years. Today, there is no doubt that it will be some form of underground transport. The study will show whether Krakow should focus on the construction of the underground. Previous research indicates rather the need to build underground tram lines, which could be reconstructed into metro lines in the following decades. Such a move seems a necessity, because the network of tramway tracks – the foundation of Krakow’s public transport – will not be able to accept more vehicles, so it will not be able to provide the right frequency of trips for the growing group of passengers. Tunnels running under the oldest part of the city would significantly increase the transport capacity of the transport network.
The Krakow bypass - Łagiewnicka Rout
At the same time, in order to provide alternative means of getting around the city and at the same time limit car traffic in the center of Krakow, stage III of the Krakow bypass – Łagiewnicka Route, which connects Kurdwanów with Ruczaj, is being built. Its further stages will lead in the future through Pychowice to Bronowice. All this so that drivers decide to bypass the city center, thanks to which there is a chance to reduce the level of air pollution and reduce the level of traffic noise.
Park and Ride
One of the elements of the public transport system are P + R car parks (“Park and Ride”). The idea of this type of places is to encourage drivers entering the city, to leave cars in these car parks and to continue traveling by public transport. Currently in Krakow there is: P + R “Czerwone Maki” – is located at the Tram Loop and the “Czerwone Maki” Bus Station – access from Motorway A 4 – Skawina motorway interchange towards the city center at Bunscha street. The car park was launched in November 2012, and since December 2013 it has been operating in a closed system. For drivers who leave their car, the car park provides: 196 parking spaces, uncovered for vehicles up to 3.5 T; 4 parking spaces for disabled people; bicycle racks; monitoring; parking support service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is open daily from 4:30 to 2:30 the next day. + R “Kurdwanów” – located at the “Kurdwanów P + R” tram terminus – access to the parking is possible from the side of Porucznik Halszki Street. The car park was launched in December 2017 and operates in a closed system. It is open daily from 4:30 to 2:30 the next day and has 167 vehicles. There are 4 parking spaces for charging electric vehicles in the parking lot. The car park has bike racks for 16 bikes (under a roofed ceiling). P + R “Bieżanów” is located at the “Nowy Bieżanów P + R” tram terminus – entry to the car park is possible from the Barbary street, from January 2018 it operates in a closed system It is open daily from 4:30 to 2:30 the next day and has 110 vehicles, there are 2 electric vehicle charging stations in the car park and 20 bike stands for bicycles (under the covered shelter). persons who have an active Krakow City Card (KKM) with a valid ticket, the remaining persons should purchase a parking ticket for PLN 10, on the basis of which they can use public transport services until 2:30 the next day. additional PLN 100. In the near future, the P + R “Mały Płaszów” car park will be completed (approximately 166 parking spaces in the park) ing), and P + R “Bronowice” is under construction, and further car parks are planned, including: Bieżanów, Mydlniki, Swoszowice, Rybitwy, Górka Narodowa, Azores.
Agglomeration transport - common quality
Stopping vehicles at Krakow’s tolls is not the only way to improve the comfort of living of the residents of Krakow and the surrounding agglomeration. For many years, it has been gaining the quality of suburban transport. More modern buses leave for routes to Krakow’s villages, and the frequency of journeys is also growing. The capital of Małopolska together with associated municipalities also develops standards for public transport, which will ensure that in the future every collective transport stop will look the same way and additionally meet the appropriate requirements, improving the safety and comfort of passengers of suburban buses. In addition, in October, studies on the generic structure of tickets in urban transport vehicles and demand in vehicles of agglomeration lines were commissioned. Their results will show what tickets are the most popular, how large the group uses the rights, especially those giving the possibility of free travel and determine the number of people choosing collective transport in their daily trips to the city.