Krakow Fast Tram: a new approach to urban transport in Poland

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - tram/light rail


Transport policy is one of the most important issues of urban development planning in Krakow. Growing car ownership, traffic and parking congestion, combined with declining public transport patronage, were the main phenomena of the early 1990s. Since the historic city does not permit a radical expansion of transport infrastructure, a policy of "meet the demand" was never popular. The administration appointed after the first democratic elections in 1990 decided to prepare a new Masterplan, with wide-ranging public consultation and independent consultancy inputs. The goal was to find a rational balance between all transport needs and local conditions. In January 1993, the City Council issued an Urban Transport Policy Resolution; a Land Use and Strategic Development Plan was implemented in 1994; and finally, a detailed Public Transport Development Programme was approved in 1996, including projections of costs, revenues and subsidies. The major goat of transport policy in Krakow is to create conditions for the efficient, safe, economic and environmentally-friendly transport of passengers and goods. This policy needs comprehensive activities in the fields of master planning, design, operations and management, plus new investment projects. Major policy objectives are: * limiting mobility needs; * reducing car traffic volumes and the necessity for road freight transport; * supporting energy-efficient transport modes, both for goods and passengers; * improving engines and fuel quality; * introducing incentives for the use of ecologically-efficient vehicles; and * improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. The policy includes the following long-term modal split targets: * up to 30% of trips by foot; * average for non-pedestrian traffic: 35% cars, 10% bicycles, 55% public transport; and * for city centre non-pedestrian traffic: 5% cars, 15% bicycles, 80% public transport. The average non-pedestrian modal split today is: 35% cars, 5% bicycles and 60% public transport. The city centre modal split is not significantly different to the average.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.