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Development of a waterborne public transport system

Szczecinek

Introduction of a mobility service that promotes water transport, as a new and energy-efficient transport mode. Promotion of a less car-dependent lifestyle, by implementing the water tram and water taxi system

Implementing sustainable mobility

To provide water – borne transport (water – tram and water – taxis) as an innovative alternative form of public transport in the city. It is integrated with other modes of public transport used in the city – buses, bicycles and rickshaws.

The integration of the services of the water-trams and water-taxis with other public transport modes: buses, bicycles and rickshaw is a new solution improving free movement by public transport. It can help people to become less car-dependent.
A water tram service, implemented since midsummer 2007, offered cruises according to the fixed schedule. Although the occupancy of water tram was rather low in case of everyday cruises, very often during weekends and holidays  the capacity of the tram was insufficient. The measure was implemented for the purpose of increasing the number of water transport users. This objective was supposed to be reached by raising the quality of service and making it more accessible and more flexible.
The rise of accessibility, capacity and flexibility of water transport also encourages elderly persons and parents with small children to go for bicycle trips around the lake – possibility of coming back by water transport from any point of the lake in case of losing vigour for pedalling. Moreover, the opportunity of looking around from the water tram or the water taxi prevented tourists from using private cars in order to visit the city.
 

How did the measure progress?

Szczecinek is situated over a lake which offered the opportunity to introduce the water borne transport. Two water trams – including one that has been totally rehabilitated respecting his historic character - and two water taxis has been implemented and operates in Szczecinek. The water tram have been provided with “solar – deck”. The inception of the water tram and taxi services facilitated the integration with the rest of public transport modes: bus, cycling and rickshaw. The winter storage (maintenance boat – house) has been set up and is under daily operation, as well as three constant piers.
The power line, water – supply and sewage system connection at the main stop of the water transport service has also been completed and is under daily operation. This measure have been fully completed and since then the water transport became more popular among residents of Szczecinek.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

At the end of the project water transport was still one of the least used by citizens  modes of transport. It shows that in general the measure was not successful. On the other hand, the number of water transport users grew by 23.8% in relation to baseline. It was mainly the result of touristic activity but it surely contributed to decrease of traffic congestion in summer season. If there were no water transport service, a lot of tourists would visit the town (sightseeing) by their private cars.

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