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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Cracow. Single-kilometre tickets instead of time tickets – ZTP’s idea. Helsinki inspiration

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Instead of tickets on time – a fee for the distance to the destination. Krakow is the first city in Poland to consider such a solution in public transport. Officials follow the example of Helsinki, where such a system operates. However, the draft resolution on this matter is to be discussed by the Krakow city council only next year.

The Public Transport Authority in Krakow is preparing an innovative proposal for public transport passengers on a national scale – kilometer tickets instead of time tickets.

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This would mean that passengers pay for the number of kilometers traveled by bus or tram, and not for the time in which they travel a given route.

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A revolution in public transport from Finland

As emphasized by Sebastian Kowal from the Public Transport Authority (ZTP), when analyzing a possible change in the rules on which tickets operate, officials follow the example of the capital Finland – Helsinki – where this solution works.

– I think that next year we will be ready to present this project to the city council for discussion and voting – says Kowal.

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The official stresses that it is too early to talk about the details of the plan at this stage. It is known, however, that the tickets would include kilometers counted in a straight line from the start to the end stop, and not kilometers along the streets of the route. According to the current assumptions, this tariff would apply to single tickets, not season tickets.

System ‘more economical’, ‘would not discriminate against passengers’

– Such a system would be more economical and would not discriminate against passengers – assessed the ZTP representative. As an example, he cited high-speed bus lines that cover, for example, 15 kilometers in 20 minutes, stopping at five stops. Their passengers only need to buy a 20-minute ticket, currently costing four zlotys. In turn, the bus of the “regular” line can cover the same distance in 40 minutes, because it stops at 10 stops. In this case, the passenger must already buy an hourly ticket, which currently costs six zlotys.

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ZTP’s proposal would also end the problems of passengers who, due to traffic jams, are not satisfied with one time-limited ticket. These are situations in which the planned journey of a given section is to take, for example, 20 minutes, and due to the traffic situation it takes longer, forcing the purchase of a second ticket.

Implementation of the plan would mean changing the system in ZTP devices and would cost at least several million zlotys.

Councilors’ proposal: fee for the number of stops

The city councilors had earlier suggested that ZTP should prepare a tariff not for distance, but for stops. This, however, according to the employees of the office, is less favorable. – Fast lines, such as the 503 for example, on many streets stop at every second stop, where the 173 line stops at every stop. In this case, the stop fare would be unfair to passengers on line 173, because for the same money on line 503 they would travel twice as far – explained Kowal.

The last changes in the ticket tariff were adopted by the Krakow councilors in April, they concern season tickets. From August, the offer will include a monthly metropolitan ticket, costing PLN 159, valid for buses, trams and trains. And from June 2024, the monthly network ticket for buses and trams for Krakow card holders will increase by PLN 10 – after the change it will cost PLN 90.

Main photo source: travellifestyle/shutterstock

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