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GP: CIVITAS CARAVEL project to more sustainable transport system-Poland PDF Print E-mail

In Krakow, through the CIVITAS CARAVEL project, they implemented a range of measure that were designed to complement each other to promote a more sustainable transport system.




Experience shows that isolated measures can only have a limited impact, while packages of measures can make use of synergies and reinforce each other. Therefore it is crucial to draw conclusions from the analysis of options in the form of meaningful combined packages of measures. Furthermore, the packages which are finally selected should also strive for the integration of all transport modes (intermodality) as well as land-use planning and other sectorial planning activities (e.g. environmental, health or economic measures).



Krakow is one of Poland’s biggest cities, one that has a unique historic character which attracts many tourists every year as a centre of Polish culture, and a dynamic university city with about 140,000 students. Since the 1990s, Krakow's economic and industrial landscape has been radically changing, which has led to an increase in road congestion as people , understandably , strived for a private car.

The maintenance and reinforcement of the metropolitan transport system and supporting improvement in the quality of life of Krakow’s residents had become a challenge to the city’s development in the early years of the new millennium.

Faced with this challenge, a Transportation Master Plan was approved by the City Council in 2005. Its main goal was to provide an efficient, safe, economical and environmentally friendly transport system for passengers and goods. This policy requested the implementation of a selection of comprehensive and coordinated measures and activities. Within the CIVITAS CARAVEL project (2005-2009) 18 measures were implemented in total, which improved the quality of Krakow’s transport system. These measures included the introduction of greener versions of public transport (PT), installation of separated traffic lanes, priority systems, safe access to public transport stops, attractive and informative audio-visual passenger information, new public transport services (e.g. demand-responsive transport in low-density areas, integrated ticketing between independent operators, bike carriers in buses, public bikes), access restrictions for cars and delivery services to the historic centre. These hard measures were accompanied by a series of soft measures targeted to specific user groups (the university and its students and employees, citizens, young people, shopkeepers) such as carpooling, car sharing, marketing and promotion events, incentives, training, public meetings.

This was a basic carrot-and-stick policy used by the Krakow City Council, aimed at discouraging the use of the private car, whilst at the same time encouraging the use of PT or other transport modes through better, safer, more affordable and more reliable and attractive urban transport offers and services. The measures were all designed and implemented to complement each other and not implemented in isolation. A core project team supervised the progress and ensured there was an on-going exchange between the measures and the stakeholders concerned.

This project team was also responsible for the communication and promotion of the plan. Despite some opposition from shopkeepers and administrations, the public accepted this city policy and the project thanks to a committed Lord Mayor and a strong project team. The project and the related measures that came on the citizens’ agenda, was widely discussed and permanently visible to the public through the CIVITAS CARAVEL tram, posters and logos, public meetings and events (European Mobility Week), incentives and gadgets.




The city of Krakow implemented a series of hard measurements to help promote a more sustainable transport system. These measures would not have been successful if it was not for the accompanying soft measures that promoted these hard measures.


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