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Vilnius

Vilnius it is the capital of Lithuania and the largest city in the country with 560,000 inhabitants. It lies 312 km from the Baltic Sea and Klaipėda and is famous for its historical monuments, churches and green surroundings. City management pays effort in offering real alternative to car use.

The available transportation modes in Vilnius are walking, cycling, buses, trolleybuses, trains, minibus taxis, taxis or private or company cars. However, there are no data on the city’s modal split. The city’s transportation system serves between 120,000 and 150,000 inhabitants from within the suburban area, in addition to visitors and tourists.

The city’s approach to transport management is defined by the City Master Plan and City Strategic Plan, which have identified scenarios for the transportation system between 2011 and 2018. Specific measures are described in the separate Special Transport Infrastructure Plan. The Special Plan for the Implementation of New Modes of Transport in the City of Vilnius is also under development. Its key objective is to design a modern, efficient, fast, comfortable and safe public transport system, comparable to those of EU capital cities.

Vilnius aims to maintain an environmentally friendly public transport fleet that represents the biggest share in the city’s modal split. In the field of clean fuels and vehicles it has begun to operate new buses running on compressed natural gas as older vehicles are replaced. The city is also looking at new modes of transport as well as technologies to further develop a sustainable transport system. It also has an e-ticketing system in operation.

One of the challenges the city faces is the lack of a bypass. However, there are plans to relieve congestion in the city center by diverting international transit traffic along corridors running along the city’s outskirts. Sustainable transportation is hindered by the low population density in Vilnius (one of the lowest among large Lithuanian cities at 1,391.9 inhabitants/km2). The city center is far from compact, which lengthens travel times and creates the need for a network of wider streets, while reducing opportunities to get around on foot or by bicycle. This is the downside of a green and distinctive city center.

Text finalized: September 2010

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