The practice describes the initiative of Byala municipality to launch seasonal flexible transportation to visitors - open air e-shuttle and phaetons with horses
The municipality of Byala at the Black sea coast embarks on phaetons and electric minibusses to manage their tourists` mobility needs. During the high season (May-September) there are a lot of tourists coming to Byala for holidays. Some of the guests have their own summer flats in hotels in the resort area of the municipality. The distance from the Byala centre to the resort area is 2-5 km and in the past it was covered only by taxis or private cars. The same means of transport were used for visiting since 2014 the restored and opened for visitors Late Antique Fortress at Cape Sv. Atanas representing the biggest tourist attraction in Byala. In 2014 the Byala municipality decided to establish a public-private partnership by allowing citizens to offer transportation with phaetons with horses. Next year under a project funded by OPRD an open-air e-shuttle for site-seeing was purchased and launched during the summer season. Actually there are 4 phaetons operating in summer time that together with the e-shuttle offer service on demand staying in the center of the town . The shuttle runs every hour but when there are big groups it runs every 30 min.
The stakeholders are the Byala municipality, the Municipal Cultural Institute, the Historical Museum of Byala and the local private entrepreneurs. The main beneficiaries are the tourists and the owners of summer houses and flats in the municipality.
The e-shuttle was purchased in the frames of a project and the phaetons are maintained by their owners - local entrepreneurs. The necessary resources for the e-shuttle are related to its battery and costs about 50 000 EUR. The maintenance of phaeton with horses is 500 EUR per unit. early.
Evidence of success
The number of visitors of Byala increased with 40% after 2014. The flexible transport services are permanently used during the high season.The practice is profitable and the tourists are willing to pay for this type of sustainable transport to the resort area - the beach and the historical site of Roman Fortress. The municipality envisages the possibility to expand the seasonal transportation by buying an eco-train and a second e-shuttle.
The maintenance of the e-shuttle is difficult because the recharge of the batteries is expensive. The minibus is too small for all tourists willing to use it (only 8 places).The same is valid for the phaetons – their number is not sufficient for all visitors willing to use them.
Potential for learning or transfer
The good practice of Byala is an example of public-private partnership for offering flexible transport services profitable both for the local municipality and the SMEs. It could be transferred to many other tourist destinations by using different means of private transport (e-cars, rikshas, etc.) - especially in Italy, France and Hungary. Our Slovak and Spanish partners manifested a clear interest to transfer the e-shuttle transportation in their regions (Kosice and High Pyrenees), and the phaeton example was interesting to transfer to Austrian region of East Tyrol (Lienz).