A suggestion was put forward that cars with four people on board can drive on a bus lane, which was aiming to make the city roads are less crowded. This is how the prime minister sees his idea. Local government officials and public transport specialists believe, however, that such a solution can paralyze lanes reserved for buses and life-saving services.
In an interview given a week ago, Mateusz Morawiecki declared a change in law that would allow drivers with at least three passengers in the car to ride on bus lanes. This idea was met with heavy criticism by local governments, which until now decide themselves on what conditions they set out the privileged parts of the road.
In our city, the biggest challenge is how to get car users to change to public transport or on bicycles. We should focus, for example, on creating more bike paths, and not stretching traffic jams to other lanessays Sebastian Kowal from the press office of the Public Transport Board.
In turn, Dr. Marek Bauer from the Department of Communication Systems at the Kracow University of Technology notes that bus lanes are uneven.
I would prefer that local traffic organization is decided by people who know the local conditions and are able to accurately determine the potential effects of specific solutionssays Dr. Marek Bauer.
The scientist from PK emphasizes that currently it is not possible to effectively control the use of bus lanes.
Sebastian Kowal reminds that the traffic system with admission on the privileged part of the private car roadway operated in Krakow at ul. Kamieńskiego. Cars with at least three people on board could enter. He notes, however, that a large number of drivers ignored this rule and drove alone.
The solution with admitting private cars to privileged lanes has been functioning for about 4 years in Rzeszów. However, public transport drivers complain about the fact that “passenger cars” often block their way, which means that buses even have a delay of several minutes.
The prime minister’s idea did not convince local government officials or experts
The prime minister wants to reduce traffic jams in cities by allowing passenger cars on which at least four people travel. Krakow authorities believe that this is a misguided idea.
About half a million cars are registered in Krakow. In addition, 250 thousand enter the city every day. cars. According to the data of the Public Transport Board in Krakow, there are 1.2 people on one car.
This means that almost all vehicles that can accommodate at least 5 people are driven alone.
It is similar in other large cities in Poland. It was thia data that could be the reason for the declaration by the head of government Mateusz Morawiecki when delivering the recent interveiw. The prime minister talked about changing the law so that bus lanes could take those who take at least three passengers in their car.
It is impossible to find more space for cars
Local councils not quite like the idea.
Krakow has such an urban layout that we are unable to find more space for cars. If we let some cars on bus lanes, we will stretch traffic jams to one more lanesays Sebastian Kowal from the press office of the Public Transport Board.
He adds that with the current driving conditions on bus lanes, where, in addition to city buses, taxis and services such as police, fire brigades and ambulances can travel there, there is already a slowdown in bus arrival time.
This is also confirmed by Marek Gancarczyk, spokesman for the Krakow MPK and adds that the problem is also drivers who unlawfully use the privileged lane, wanting to avoid congestion.
– Sometimes cars enter a bus lane blocking the road for buses. If passenger cars designated by the new regulations could drive in this lane, there could be more abuse – adds Marek Gancarczyk.
Instead of a passenger, a blow-up doll was the car
Bus lanes are abused all over the world. In Canada they have taken on an unusual character. When inspecting the car of a man who was in a privileged driving lane for cars with more passaengers, it turned out that instead of passengers in the back seat there were pumped dolls.
Sebastian Kowal reminds that in Krakow a solution similar to that proposed by the prime minister of government operated on the bus lane during the renovation of ul. Kamieńskiego.
These changes were caused by works carried out by PKP PLK during the construction of the railway flyover at the intersection of Wielicka, Limanowskiego, Powstańców Śląskich and Powstańców Wielkopolskich streets. Use of the bus lane was then available for passenger cars only when there were a minimum of 2 people plus a driver in the vehicle.
Residents knew about these changes and took advantage of the opportunity to move on the bus lane, while a large number of drivers also ignored the rules and rode on a separate road for buses with only one person in the car. Currently, the Kamieński bus lane operates only during the morning rush hour and is intended only for public transport and emergency vehicles – says Sebastian Kowal.
In turn, Dr. Marek Bauer from the Department of Communication Systems of the Kracow University of Technology points out that in some points of the communication network, perhaps the effects of introducing new regulations would not be very serious.
– But it’s easy to point out places where bus communication will suffer significantly. For example, in the case of Al. Wieszczów, where bus lanes are already heavily loaded and communication speeds are not satisfactory – there may be more and more frequent states of complete paralysis of bus communication, and as a consequence some passengers will leave public transport. And then the negative effects will be felt by everyone – paradoxically, also by car users – explains Dr. Marek Bauer.
Therefore, the expert suggests looking for system solutions for clearing bus lanes, so that bus travel is a real alternative to car travel, rather than filling bus lanes with additional vehicles.
In Rzeszów, “passenger cars” block buses
There are about 30 km of bus lanes in Krakow today. – Next year we are also planning to create new bus lanes, while they are in the concept and analysis phase, which is why we are not able to say how many and what lengths the final variants will be – says Sebastian Kowal.
In Rzeszów, private cars can travel by bus for four years, provided that the car is at least 3 people. – This system works well. However, the most problems are with newcomers who often occupy this lane when traveling alone – says Maciej Chłodnicki. There are many more visitors in Krakow.
In turn, the president of Rzeszów MPK Marek Filip pointed out in the media that after bus vehicles were admitted on bus lanes, city bus drivers most often complain that they are experiencing delays of several minutes on the main streets of the city.