Impact of EU Funded Public Transport Development Projects on the Quality of Life in Cities



Impact of EU Funded Public Transport Development Projects on the Quality of Life in Cities

Authors

Petra Szakonyi, Széchenyi István University, Emese Makó, Széchenyi István University

Description

The aim of the article is to introduce those Hungarian projects that have already achieved the development of public transport services and also to show the experiences gained so far.

Abstract

The negative consequences of the decreasing share of public transportation in the modal split and the increasing use of individual transport can be read not only in scientific publications, but can be also felt in our everyday life. Increasing CO2 emission, permanent traffic jams, more and more road accidents, noise emission, parking problems, reduction of public spaces, etc. are nowadays everyday problems.

The decrease of the number of public transport passengers are both of economic and environmental interest. From the economic point of view, to increase the public transport passenger demand might be feasible with the development of the public transport services and the reduction of fares.

The mobility of cities appears time to time in the EU's transport policy.

The 'White book', published in September 2001, outlined the guidelines of transportation development and regulation as well as the transport policy principles of the EU. In 2006, the 'White book' was revised and in September 30, 2009 the urban mobility action plan of the EU was published. In this document, the Committee of the EU recommended concrete actions in order to facilitate urban mobility, make it more eco-friendly and well organized.

Among the concrete measures of the EU's urban mobility action plan increasing the public transport demand appeared as a main target. In order to reach the above mentioned goal, the development of the public transport services seemed the most plausible. In order to guarantee the implementation of the goals related to the development of public transportation, the EU made financial resources available for the EU Member States, also for Hungary. To win and to take advantage of the available funds, tenders had to be made by the Hungarian cities. Proposals for the development of public transport were announced within the framework of the National Regional Operational Programs.

In Hungary the development of motorization is medium (350 cars/1000 inhabitants), but the decline of public transport and the strong growth in the number of private cars can be observed in each cities. In the 80’s the share of public transport in Budapest was 84 %, but by 2010 this figure was dropped to 60 %. In the provincial cities a similar process took place. In an average city with around 100 000 inhabitants the rate of public transport was around 40 % in 2010, compared with the rate of 60% 15 years prior to that. The Department of Transport at Széchenyi István Universityis engaged in the research of public transport of Hungarian cities. The Department participated in 27 transportation related projects between 1992 and 2008 which included cross-sectional passenger counting and passenger satisfaction surveys. The data collected show how the use of public transport declined in parallel with the development of motorization in Hungary and also how this trend goes further on if there is no effective solution for the improvement of the competitiveness of public transport.

In the framework of the Regional Operational Programs tenders providing financial resources for municipalities and for public transport companies for the implementation of public transport infrastructure development projects were published in 2007. In the West-Pannon Region the city of Győr, Sopron and Mosonmagyaróvár, while in the North-Plain Region the city of Debrecen submitted their applications. The aims of the projects were to modernize the town’s public transport and to increase user satisfaction. Through the use of innovative technologies positive changes started in the public transport serving passenger needs more efficiently (e.g.: accuracy, better ticket-purchase opportunities and passenger information etc.) and thus contributing to the increase in the local public transport passenger satisfaction.

The aim of the article is to introduce those Hungarian projects that have already achieved the development of public transport services and also to show the experiences gained so far.

Keywords: Public transport, EU funded projects, modal-split, transportation infrastructure, transportation services, sustainable transport

Publisher

Association for European Transport