At the beginning of 2011 the municipality of Zagreb introduced a development programme for a Park & Ride system. This was designed to be an advanced, efficient and environmentally-friendly model, aiming to facilitate daily travel to and from the city. Although the Park & Ride model has for many years been common in Europe and around the world, it has never previously been implemented in Croatia.
Background & Objectives
The parking system in Zagreb has until now been characterised by an insufficient number of parking spaces and a rapid expansion of parking payment zones. These are just some of the problems that affect not only the residents of Zagreb, but all those who travel to work every day in the city. As the car is still the most popular form of urban transport (the number of cars in Zagreb, and in Croatia as a whole, is repeatedly growing), and transport infrastructure often fails to meet the needs of the population, traffic jams are growing and this results in the general dissatisfaction of citizens.
Park & Ride systems (P&R) are an effective way of reducing the number of individual trips to the city and they help relieve the problem of parking in urban areas. Users can park their vehicles at the P&R site and continue their journey using public transport. They can, alternatively, form car-pools. This reduces the number of trips and it frees up parking spaces in the city. P&R solutions must be well integrated with the system of public transportation (buses, trams, ...) in order to shorten travel times and increase service availability.
At the beginning of 2012 the municipality of the City of Zagreb began to implement the first phase of the Park&Ride system which was presented to the public in the Spring. In the Paromlin area 550 parking spaces were provided. Now drivers can leave their vehicles in the parking lot as long as they want, and the total cost of parking includes the tickets for public transport to the city. The price of a monthly parking ticket is 410 Kuna (approx 55 EUR), including the cost of public transport. Apart from the Paromlin area, 'Park&Ride' facilities were planned in three more locations - a parking lot east of the Zagreb Fair, a western parking lot at the Maksimir stadium and a parking lot in Vrap?e.
The process of planning an efficient urban parking system has become one of the most important measures concerning traffic problems, given the increasing the number of cars on the road. With this introduction of a Park& Ride system the City of Zagreb aims to give citizens the ability to combine multiple types of transport for easier and faster daily travel. Apart from the practical element, P&R also includes an environmental component, which is widely accepted as being a vitally important part of the system.