Decision makers all see the necessity for improving public transport in Croatia

This fact is one of the findings of the USEmobility survey and a series of interviews that were conducted with decision makers last year in six European countries. People were asked about mobility and changes to the means of transport used for their journeys. In Croatia this survey was unique as it was the first one that aimed to find out the citizens’ reasons as to why they changed their mobility behavior towards more eco-friendly means of transport like trains, buses and bicycles.

What do Croatians think about mobility?

The surveys among citizens were carried out during July and October 2011. In the Zagreb area, phone interviews were conducted among the selected sample of the citizens. In the areas of Varaždin and Međimurje,* short preliminary interviews were done and then recruited citizens were telephoned to conduct the full survey.

Croatians, among the citizens in the other four European countries, think their bus and train stops are the worst equipped with necessary infrastructure and information. They also think that their bus and train stops are the least reachable, but they also think the existing stops are very accessible with many ramps and elevators. Extended journey times are a very strong factor in Croatia to push people away from public transport. Among all the citizens in five countries Croatians feel the greatest joy in driving their cars and they think that planning the trip with a car is much simpler than with the public transportation. 

Interviews with the decision makers

Croatian experts and decision makers** are very well aware that the mobility of the citizens in Croatia should be improved, and the surveys are the first key step in achieving this goal. They noticed that there is a big discrepancy in public transport services between urban and rural Croatia. In rural areas, the situation is very bad in some distant areas of Croatia because the bus services there are practically nonexistent. The discrepancy in rail transport is also evident but a bit smaller. Croatians also use their bikes much more than before and it is necessary to provide new services that would help them use public transport more often, like bike+ride, bikes on the trains, etc. Decision makers all see the necessity for improving the public transport system in Croatia, especially in the sphere of multimobility, but they all indicated the lack of clear strategies that would lead towards these goals. All of them are looking forward to the upcoming USEmobility project workshop in Croatia to see the results from the surveys among citizens and also to contribute as much as they can into building the guidelines for better passenger transport of tomorrow which USEmobility will deliver in the near future.

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Interviewers was made on the train stations of Varaždin, Čakovec, Ivanec, Ludbreg, Kotoriba and Lepoglava and in the town squares in Varaždin and Čakovec.

**The following people were interviewed: Professor Blaž Bogović, Phd from Faculty of transport and traffic engineering from Zagreb, Mr. Branko Mikinac, board adviser from ZET tram and bus operator in Zagreb, Mr. Rentao Humić, former president of the board in Croatian Railways passenger transport railway operator, Mr. Marijan Ključarić from city of Zagreb traffic department, Mr. Milan Pavleković, deputy prefect of Varaždin County and Mr. Matija Posavec, deputy prefect of Međimurje County.

Ante Klečina