Development of the public urban transport by introducing public water transport on the Bega Canal to increase mobility and improve travel time within the city.
Being aware of the great potential of the Bega Canal and its banks, the Municipality of Timisoara envisaged a plan to develop the area for tourism and sports, introducing passenger transportation on water. By introducing the public water transport on the Bega Canal, the Municipality of Timisoara increased mobility and improved the travel time within the city.
Main benefits achieved are:
• the introduction of a new means of public transportation as another sustainable alternative to private motorized transport;
• the facilitation of traveling from the city’s outskirts to its center;
• the reduction in the travel time, avoiding rush hours;
• the connection of bike tracks with vaporetto stations, therefore adding to the intermodal means of transport.
The new infrastructure has been complemented by 7 vaporettos, 9 self-service bicycle stations with 140 bicycles at the vaporettos stops, new pathways for pedestrians and lanes for bicycles were placed along the banks of the Bega, also protecting and capitalizing the green areas, modernizing the public spaces, improving leisure possibilities and the quality of urban space, creating new access ways to reach the water, improving pedestrian/cycling traffic over the construction of new bridges and encouraging the development of a connection between residential districts and the waterfront through the creation of pedestrian/bike lanes.
The whole project’s total value was approximately 10 million euros. During the implementation of the practice, the Public Transport Company employed 68 persons.
Evidence of success
This practice has brought a positive change in people’s mentality towards using water transport, improved mobility in the city and reduced the time of travel in Timisoara. Public water transport started in 2018, and more than 5.000 people have used this means of transport over the last year.
Some of the problems encountered during implementation were:
• the Bega Canal had no specific infrastructure for the public transport on water;
• problems with the acquisitions of bikes and cranes for water transport;
• legislation and bureaucracy at Ministry level;
• achievement of indicators.
Potential for learning or transfer
Rehabilitation and use of the canal that crosses the city center for passenger transport on water has been increasing the use of public transport, thus producing a positive impact on the environment. The inclusion of the water transport into the integrated ticketing system of public transport increased flexibility and interest in using collective means of transport.
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