Free public transport in Polish city boosts passenger numbers fourfold
Following the introduction in May of free public transport, the Polish city of Żory says that the number of people using its local buses has jumped fourfold.
Passenger numbers in the southern Polish city (pop: 62,625) had been falling over the past few years, partly due to rising ticket prices. Concerned that this was resulting in increased car usage and many citizens being unable to engage in educational, cultural and recreational activities the city introduced free bus travel earlier this year.
'Based on the observations of drivers and our officials, up to four times as many passengers travelled on the buses in July compared to May,' Anna Ujma, a local government spokesperson, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
Residents were also encouraged to suggest how to improve the bus network. Ujma said that the three most common requests were to introduce larger buses, adjust timetables to the needs of students and increase the number of bus stops.
The city has been quick to respond. Two out of the seven free bus lines now have larger buses, and locations for three new bus stops have already been identified.
Urban Gateway - journal of the International Urban Development Community.