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Encouraging car-pooling to and from industrial areas

Craiova

Craiova has several forms of public transportation, but these are not flexible enough. Industrial areas on the periphery can be reached by bus, but at large intervals or just during peak hours. There are collective taxis, but these solutions are not commonly used by the citizens. This measure will introduce carpooling in the West industrial area of Craiova.

parked cars
Implementing sustainable mobility

In Craiova, like many cities in Romania, the private car is the most popular and convenient mode of transport, especially for commuting to work. Many employees working late in the industrial areas of the city have no access to public transport and no option other than using taxis or their private cars to get back home. The distance from/to the bus/tram it is about 2 - 4 km. This further discourages employees to use the public transport service. The number of cars on the road in this industrial area west of the city during peak hours is approximately 2,500 standard vehicles per hour and this is predicted to rise to 3,000 by 2015. Another major problem is the number of parking spaces available. The area is cluttered because cars are parked on the side of the street.

This measure seeks to optimise transport for specific users such as the employees of large plants and factories by setting up a flexible transport service of carpooling and parking facilities for carpooling service users. Employees will be encouraged to carpool with at three passengers in each vehicle. The parking area will have two electronic barriers and access will be based on a special card given to carpoolers. It will be located near the bus / tram stations, ensuring the transportation to residential and downtown areas goes smoothly. The cars engaged in the carpooling scheme will be recorded in a database. Access to the parking will be allowed only if the car is registered in the database.

The transport company’s website will also be updated with a carpooling section, where an overview of the parking and occupancy level for cars and passenger seats will be available. The website will provide all the information needed to measure the demand for parking places. The measure will be implemented in 4 steps, including research, demonstration, dissemination, and evaluation activities.

How did the measure progress?

The planning and design of the measure began in 2009, when studies supporting the design and technical/organisational development of the measure were initiated.  A traffic study and analysis of alternative and flexible services in the area was then carried out. This analysis showed that the development of a carpooling service and arrangement of a special parking for carpooling should be a suitable alternative to existing transportation mode in the area.

The development of the parking facilities is underway and involves acquiring land registration documentation for the carpooling parking places. This means locating, identifying, and registering property ownership in the Land Registry. The technical requirements for the electronic barriers, video camera and for the connection of the functional components also need to be identified. The public procurement procedure will then be launched and the development of the carpooling website service as extension of the RAT website will take place. The barriers, video-camera and connection with the dispatch centre will then be installed and the car park will be set up. When everything is in place the carpooling scheme will be launched.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Craiova expects that the measure will:

  • Reduce fuel costs;  
  • Provide mobility management services in the industrial area;
  • Decrease driving stress; and
  • Reduce carbon emissions, traffic and the need for parking spaces.

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Position:
Inspector, Local Public Transport Service