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Tirana

Tirana, the capital of Albania, is the largest urban centre of the country.  Tirana has 765,804 inhabitants, who reside in an area of 42 km² and represent approximately 30% of the Albanian population.  The Albanian metropolis is the education and research hub of the country being the city with the highest number of universities and schools, where approximately 52,000 students from all over the country come to study.  Tirana is the economic centre of Albania and 40% of foreign capital has been invested in the city. Therefore, the capital of Albania is the model of successful changes.  Tirana is home to the largest shopping malls in the country; artistic, cultural, social and sports centres and activities.  With its nature, ecology and traditions, culture, folklore, archaeological sites of all periods, museums and historical monuments Tirana offers opportunities for the development of various types of tourism.

The Mayor of Tirana has set as two key priorities the New Urban Plan and the Strategic Plans. The capital has lacked an urban plan for 23 years, and it was finally adopted in February 2013. The Strategic Plans, which seek to enhance the life quality of the citizens of Tirana, are also being developed.

The project for the extension of the existing boulevard and the rehabilitation of the Tirana river is the most important project in the past 80 years in Tirana, and has already begun to be implemented.  The construction of the light rail has been anticipated to be built along the boulevard, connecting the multimodal passenger terminal with the “Nene Tereza” square.

A functioning light rail system in Tirana will have an immediate impact on the modernization of the public transport; it will lowerthe costs of commuting for citizens; improve air quality and the environment in Tirana.  This investment will steer more citizens to use public transport thereby reducing the use of private vehicles in the city. 

Another ambitious project concerning transport in the capital is that of the passenger multimodal terminal, whose implementation will start soon.  In this terminal, with an area of 80,000 m², the new train station and light rail station will be constructed, which will transport passengers from the multimodal terminal, along the new boulevard, to the “Nene Tereza” square.  The terminal will solve the urgent need for traffic improvement in Tirana as it will serve as the parking area for all passengers’ transportation means from all over the country. 

Today Tirana has one of the most modern centres in the region and the only one in Albania, the Urban Traffic Control Centre, a project completed in 2013.  This centre has given priority to public transport and has also contributed to the improvement of the traffic influx and safety in Tirana.  This Centrehas enabled the direction of all traffic control stations and 24 hour real-time monitoring through cameras.  9 traffic lights equipped with the pedestrian crossing button and acoustic signals for persons with disabilities have been installed in Tirana.  Six large electronic monitors that are periodically updated inform drivers about the current traffic conditions as well as other important information on the movement within the city of Tirana, at the entrance and its boundaries. 

The vision of the Municipality of Tirana for the road and public transport administration draws from an integrated approach that encompasses economic development of the city of Tirana, improvement of the lives of the citizens and protection of the environment through the development of the road network and a public transport system that is fast, frequent, reliable and comfortable. 

Tirana has a total of 14 city public transport lines which are operated by 7 private operators according to a 5-year contract with determined schedules and stations, as well as fleet standards.  The fleet of public transportation vehicles is made of 178 buses, 64 of which are buses that comply with EUR5 pollution standards.  The average vehicle age is 8-10 years ranking Tirana as the capital with the youngest vehicle fleet in the Balkans. 

Throughout 2012, 25 new buses have been put on service and in 2013, 39 additional ones, from which 20 were new.  All the lines put together transport on average 55-60 million passengers per year.  The public transport network in 2011 was 73.4 km long, whereas today it is 104.4 km, thus marking a 50% expansion of the network. 

The goal of the Municipality of Tirana to increase the number of bicycle users in the city aims to reduce the traffic, improve air quality, decrease the need for public parking and improve public health. 

The first phase of the Multimodal project includes 3.2 km Bus Route and 11.6 km Bicycle Route as well as 4 safe passenger crossings.  During the revitalization project of the “Skenderbej” square, 1800 ml were created in the “Deshmoret e Kombit” boulevard as well as 1250 ml in the “Skenderbej” square.  The second phase of this project includes the expansion of the bicycle lane network in the main streets of the city by 20 km, as well the expansion of lane network dedicated to the public transportation vehicles, approximately 5.3 km, placement of traffic sign columns in 5 passenger crossings, remedial intervention in 5 main intersections in the city. 

The expansion of bicycle lane network seeks to create such characteristics as continuous, distinguishable, secure, comfortable as well as attractive services, which makes its users feel safe and encourage and promote the use of bicycles.  

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