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Saturday, 8 August 2009

Zagreb Voted One Of Europe's Most-Mobile Cities






Well, since I currently live practically in the center of the city temporarily, and having to take public transportation at this time, I felt this would be a good post. This award recently won by the city of Zagreb is something to be proud of. With metropolitan Zagreb's population of around 1.2 million, to win such a prestigious honor is quite an accomplishment. My current city, (with a metropolitan population of 692,911) could really take some lessons from Zagreb. I had a chance to use the trams in Zagreb when I was there recently, and I must say I was impressed. I used them everyday and found that they were very clean, and always on time.

Since the trams run on electricity, it was also the quietest ride I ever took. The amount of noise our buses make is unbelievable, as well as always crowded and running late most of the time. The amount of graffiti on and in the Zagreb trams was non existent, especially when compared to my city's public transportation. I think this award really say's something about the city. Zagreb's Trams also provide transportation to a wide cross section of the city's population. From office workers to students, the elderly and factory workers. (Like other European major cities). I also liked the way the female voice over the speaker system would remind you which stop was coming up next. Nice added classy bonus.

If anyone has taken a ride on any of these Zagreb Trams at any time even at night, and then taken a King, Cannon or Barton bus around here, the comparison is that it's basically a different world to put it quite simply, heck walking around sometimes even a different universe with actual real-life mutants, it's true because I've seen them at various hours of the day and the night. (you don't wanna go there boys and girls, especially the boys). Usually when something is mentioned on the local news that happened there the night before, you're glad that you missed it. Eever seen that Simpson's episode where Lisa takes the bus and the Crackton stop? something like that. I've got lots of stories and some would make you puke blood. (Actually pretty well anytime the local news mentions something about downtown you're glad you weren't there). Even the Mormons, J-Ws and other whatever-evangelists know better and stay the hell away from those parts, which may partly explain why many of those types have been instead going to Croatia lately to hand out pamphlets, preach and convert at the cafes and ice-cream parlours...









Source: Croatian Times

Official Zagreb Municipal Transit System (ZET) website: www.zet.hr


Zagreb tied for second place in the "most-mobile city 2008" in Europe competition. The winner is Budapest, according to a European Commission (EC) announcement yesterday (Mon) evening. The EC had nominated the Croatian capital, one of 2,012 cities that had applied for a nomination under the slogan "Clean Air for Everyone." Zagreb’s biggest advantage was its public transportation.

Organizers had to prove it was ecologically-friendly, fast, cheap and practical. Zagreb also needed to show that all new public transport vehicles were fully accessible and that the streets and crossings were fully adapted for use by people with disabilities.





Image: mindfulmermaid.com




EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik explained Zagreb’s selection: "On the 'day without a car,' six kilometres of streets were closed to traffic and turned into a pedestrian zone. The Bicycle Association organized a big cycling tour through the centre of the city, public discussions, lectures and exhibitions. A public debate on air quality was also held." EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas announced European Mobility Week 2009 would be held from 16 to 22 September and its theme would be public transport’s role in climate change.







I've used a number of these Davidsbeenhere videos before while he travelled to various Croatian locations, here he hops on a downtown Zagreb Tram but unfortunately he didn't go on the newest model, older versions are still used here and there until completely phased out. It's sort of like San Francisco and their Trolleys, when in Zagreb you just gotta jump on a Tram.



Background information about the latest low-floor CROTRAMs manufactured by Zagreb based Končar Elektroindustrija and TŽV Gredel since 1995. (I've been on these they're a great trip, cool, quiet, comfortable and strangely usually full of models no matter where you go or what time, many times it's like very cheap tourist rides actually)



Some spontaneous views of Zagreb Trams doing their thing, the latest low-floor versions and older versions still being used for now.





I came across these images accidentally while browsing photos of one of my trips to Zagreb and decided to throw them in here. Not exactly "Tram photos" but still interesting. (I did take the Trams a few times but I just didn't take any photos). Interestingly I actually took these while I was on the free rides tourist train that was located downtown and seen in the first 2 images. What the heck I thought, the "Zagreb Friends" train was a free 20 minute scenic ride through the downtown area, I saw plenty of the summer Euro-tour people take it the day before and it actually did pass by some popular and historic landmarks and points of intetrest, with the Train departing every 1/2 hour or so. (Touristy yes but it was actually pretty cool...and free). Anyway, below that I did happen to take a few unplanned snapshots of some Trams from an unusual angle, because the windows on the real Trams don't open, that's about it...









And lastly here's a few updated photos from a few years later I should add, with the rising number of tourists in Zagreb in the summer these days they decided to improve and add to the tour bus options, good to know. Image: Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL




Two new lines have been added and known as the "Hop-On Hop-Off" bused. The Red line is a 12.5 kilometres long trip that has six stops along the route and includes many popular and historical points of interest. The Green line is even longer and includes the best known green oasis of Zagreb, such as Jarun Lake, Bundek Lake and Maksimir Park where the Zagreb Zoo is located and across from Maksimir Stadium. The route is 32.5 kilometres long and it has seven stops along the way; it lasts for about an hour and a half in total. These buses aren't free like the one I went on but operate on a hop-on hop-off system with tickets valid for a 24 hour period. The buses are equipped with GPS and a virtual tour guide who presents the city landmarks along the routes to tourists via headphones in eight different languages. The price for a one-day ticket is 70 kuna (9 euros), while children between the ages of 7 and 18 pay half price (only 35 kuna) (5 euros).












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