Project: Public transport modernisation project

Company: Municipality of Belgrade (authority) and GSP Belgrade

City: Belgrade, SERBIA

Timing: 03/2009 - 01/2013

Case study: The city of Belgrade has recognised the importance of investing in the development, improvement and modernisation of public transport in order to support the pursuit of sustainable urban development and greater mobility for users. Thus, in 2009 a series of activities for systematic planning was launched, which included fleet renewal, reconstruction of existing and building of new infrastructure, application of modern technologies for the fare collection and fleet management, with the involvement of all social categories, especially people with disabilities, so as to achieve the desired level of quality of public transport.

Primary activities are aimed at improving the electrical subsystems, trams and trolleybuses, as the situation was unsatisfactory and was characterised by very old vehicles in poor condition whose period of exploitation was over 15 years. Channeling the specific requirements for the transport of persons with disabilities has defined standards for the procurement of vehicles and infrastructure planning that will contribute to a better quality of life for this category of users. Regarding to this, the city purchased new vehicles that have high standards (energy-efficient, higher capacity, air conditioning, and must be equipped with a ramp for independent entry / exit of persons in wheelchairs). In accordance with defined standards, renewal of tram subsystems was planned by purchase of 30 trams, which was completed at the end of 2012. Also, the trolleybus fleet renewal was implemented with procurement of 83 trolleys with asynchronous engine and mechanical ramps for the disabled, which were delivered at the end of 2010 and an additional procurement of 16 trolleys with automatic ramps for the disabled which were delivered in 2011. With a total of 99 new trolleys,  trolleybus fleet is fully restored.

The main disadvantage of the existing collection systems is outdated collection technology which is characterised by flexibility, susceptibility to abuse, non-payment of transportation services, unreliable equipment, lack of timely information, the low level of system operation control, safety and security and difficult tariff integration. In order to achieve the desired level of quality, the city introduced new technologies that offer the possibility for establishing a reliable information base upon which optimal decisions in the planning of the traffic network and tariff system can be made. The City of Belgrade has started implementing the System for the fare collection and fleet management in real time based on modern technology, which covers all 1851 vehicles, and provides a new tool for the management of revenue and vehicles in public transport. Ticketing system based on RFID technology with contactless smart cards as payment method enables better control, acquisition and revenue management, the introduction of a wide range of tickets in accordance with real needs and the possibility to use the same card for other services outside of public transport. The automatic vehicle location using GPS and GPRS technology will enable the control of work and hence income distribution to operators according to transport work actually performed, and the organisation of public transport to the optimal satisfaction of transport requirements. Significant progress in the area of passenger information has been achieved by making information available in real time to a large number of users.

Activities in the development of new city railways as subsystems within the public transport system, in cooperation with the PE "Serbian Railways", resulted in the first city railway line, which started operation from September 2010 with five stations within a total length of 8 kilometers. Extending the line to include four additional stations and 17 kilometers of network was concluded in mid-2011. It is intended to further develop city rail network and the next phase includes activities to establish new line with total length of 8 kilometers.

In accordance with the city policy to solve traffic problems, reduce congestion on the streets and increase the number of users of public transport, the City Council adopted in June 2010 a document called "Belgrade’s metro - the basis for selection decisions" that defines the basic requirements that the City of Belgrade will set up for construction of a metro project.

Investment in the project so far have a total value of 125,85 million euros, and is mostly covered from the city budget. These includes purchase of 30 trams worth 81,3 million euros (61.3 million euros from the city budget), 83 trolley buses for the amount of 18,6 million and an additional 16 trolleybuses for the amount of 3,8 million euros, covered entirely from the city budget. System for the fare collection and fleet management in public transport is financed by funds provided by partners, whom - in compensation for contracted work - belongs a 8.53% percentage share of the generated revenues (the project value is over 12,15 million euros). For the introduction of city railway 10 million euros was invested from the city budget and is related to the refurbishment of nine trains and the reconstruction of railway tracks in the first phase. Financing Study of the Belgrade Metro system and preliminary design of the first line of the Belgrade metro will be secured from the donations.

PTx2 strategy: City policy on public transport is reflected in the continued investment in the development of transport, based on the procurement of vehicles and the use of modern technologies. Improving the electrical subsystem is one of the major sustainable urban mobility solutions from the standpoint of capacity and ecology in Belgrade. With new energy-efficient vehicles, greater capacity, air-conditioned, with ramps for people with disabilities, and with the coordination and adjustment of time tables, reliable, accessible and fast transport ill be assured. Modern technologies allow intermodality which is achieved using the same e-card to pay for different services. This simplifies the use of the system, and through a wide range of tickets it provides availability to multiple users. With timely information users gain a positive experience what affects the increasing mobility and creates a better image of the city.