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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Warsaw. Is it possible to transport a scooter / bicycle in public transport?

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The capital city council defended cyclists and electric scooter users asked by some drivers of public transport. He called for clarification of the regulations and training for employees. The authorities of the capital ensure that both the bicycle and the scooter are treated as luggage, so they can be transported. At least in theory …

The issue of transporting scooters and bicycles by public transport vehicles was pointed out in the interpellations by councilor Marek Szolc from the club of the Civic Coalition. As he stated, residents come to him who do not like the way owners of electric scooters are treated in public transport vehicles. “People carrying them are asked to leave the buses for their transport, even when they are folded and secured so as to meet the requirements of the WTP regulations” – wrote Szolc. He cited the example of one of the residents who had been removed from a bus with a private scooter because it, according to the driver, “might have exploded”.

“The WTP regulations should take into account the city’s policy regarding residents, with particular emphasis on resigning from using passenger cars. Private measures, such as electric scooters, can complement the existing public transport system, but for that to be the case, residents should be able to use combined methods transport “- said Szolc. And he called for “work on making the WTP regulations more detailed and training drivers to ensure its uniform application”.

Cyclists are also asked to leave

In another interpellation, the councilor pointed out that cyclists face similar problems on the part of WTP drivers. “Among the most common arguments given by drivers as a refusal to transport a bicycle, there are: no approval for the transport of bicycles, no bicycle pictogram, full responsibility of the driver for damages, prohibition of transporting bicycles in accordance with the Road Traffic Act” – enumerated the councilor. In his opinion, such arguments are inconsistent with the current legal status, and yet they are also cited by supervisors of drivers and traffic dispatchers. “From the information that can be found in the online discussions of drivers, you can find information that at the R-4 Stalowa depot there is information that the only person deciding about the transport of bikes is the driver” – wrote Szolc.

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The councilor appealed to the city authorities to conduct trainings for the employees of carriers in the field of regulations on: vehicle approval, admissibility of bicycle transport in accordance with national regulations, driver’s and passenger’s liability for the transported luggage and any doubts resulting in the refusal to transport bicycles.

There is no ban on transporting a scooter, but …

The deputy mayor of Warsaw, Renata Kaznowska, replied to the interpellation of councilor Szolc regarding scooters. At the outset, she noted that the regulations do not prohibit the transport of scooters, which are treated like any other luggage. However, as she pointed out, the driver may leave a passenger if his luggage is transported “in a place other than that intended or in a seat”, obstructs the passage, exposes other passengers or their property to damage, obstructs the visibility of the staff or threatens the safety of traffic.

It also stipulated that, according to the regulations, every person carrying luggage or an animal is obliged to free a place for people in a wheelchair or with a pram.

Kaznowska emphasized that the carriage of scooters is permissible if the passenger complies with the order provisions of the WTP regulations. “The service of the vehicle is, however, authorized to assess whether the luggage (of any type) or the animal is carried by the passenger in a correct manner. In the event of irregularities in the scope of the luggage / animal carried, the service may order the passenger to leave the vehicle” – said Kaznowska.

Finally, she added that a passenger who does not agree with the driver’s decision has the right to file a complaint. Then, proceedings are initiated to clarify the disputed situation.

The carriage of bicycles is “undefined”

In public transport vehicles, bicycles are also treated as luggage. The answer to Szolec’s interpellation, given by the former vice-president, Robert Soszyński, shows that the regulations only specify the requirements for places for a wheelchair and a child.

“At the same time, it does not mean that the transport of bicycles in the city bus and tram is forbidden – it is simply undefined under the regulations” – wrote Soszyński. “The tender procedures contain technical requirements for places designated for the transport of a pram and a wheelchair. The bicycle is treated as luggage and the regulations do not require meeting special conditions for its transport” – we read in response to an interpellation. Vice-president Soszyński also noted that trams and buses are not equipped with bicycle stands due to limited space, and their installation could adversely affect the comfort of other travelers.

At the same time, he assured that “Public Transport Authority will signal all carriers participating in the implementation of the tasks of Warsaw Public Transport on the need to conduct appropriate training”.

Main photo source: TVN

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