Cross-border coordination for public transport in the adjoining parts of Saxony and Lower Silesia
There is a lot to see and do in the Saxony-Lower Silesia border area of Germany and Poland, and tourists keen to explore it now benefit from improved public transport connections and services. The Śnieżka project enabled participants from Germany and Poland to develop synergy and a shared vision for public transport, notably for journeys across the border.
" The Śnieżka project has facilitated access to tourist sites and other attractions by improving the cross-border offering of the public transport operators in the German and Polish parts of our region. "
The Śnieżka project was launched in October 2010 in order to pave the way towards closer coordination among public transport systems in the contiguous parts of Saxony, Germany and Lower Silesia, Poland. Particular attention was dedicated to facilitating cross-border travel for tourists.
Improvements had been identified as crucial to the development of tourism in this border area and were just as eagerly anticipated by many local users of its public transport systems. The partners involved in the project, which focused more specifically on the transport corridor linking the towns of Bautzen, Görlitz, Lubań, Jelenia Góra and Kamienna Góra, had pinpointed a need for integrated fares and ticketing, coordinated connections, and improved passenger information in several languages.
The project involved a detailed study, which enabled the partners to develop a common understanding of key issues, consider possible solutions and define shared objectives. The outcomes were consolidated in an outline for the development of public transport in the border area.
More specifically, this outline was based on an analysis of available information about tourism and public transport in this area, assessments of the situation on specific parts of the networks, and an evaluation of the five towns and several key sites in terms of their tourism potential and accessibility by public transport.
The findings from these investigations fed into proposals for possible improvements, and the development of communication scenarios to enhance the information available to tourists. The seasonality of tourism in Saxony and Lower Silesia was also taken into account.
Mapping out a route
The partners’ shared vision was subsequently transposed into a detailed plan for integrated public transport throughout the border area. Improvements have been implemented gradually since the project ended in June 2013.
These measures have produced a variety of benefits. While the project focused primarily on the scope to support the development of tourism, it is also expected to enhance the quality of life of the area’s inhabitants. New and improved public transport connections facilitate mobility and encourage trips into the neighbouring region for tourists and locals alike.
Particular progress has been reported for the Euro-Neisse Ticket, whose coverage was extended to include several new sites. This one-day ticket for up to five travellers is valid for journeys across the entire network of the German project partner as well as a number of lines in the Polish and Czech parts of this tri-border region, also known as the Neisse-Nisa-Nysa Euroregion.
The project was led by ZVON (Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien), an association dedicated to interlinking public transport across several districts on the German side of the border, and implemented jointly with the authorities of the province of Lower Silesia in Poland.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Śnieżka – Erarbeitung einer ÖPNV-Konzeption im Korridor Bautzen - Görlitz - Lubań - Jelenia Góra - Kamienna Góra zur Tourismusentwicklung in der Euroregion Neiße” is EUR 279 706, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 207 197 through the “Poland – Germany (Saxony)” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Cross-border development”.