Powering sustainable public transport

Some 30 environmentally-friendly trolleybuses have been added to the Polish city of Lublin’s transport network thanks to an extensive infrastructure upgrade.

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Equipment monitoring the trolleybus system. © Department of Management of the Regional Operational Programme, Lublin Equipment monitoring the trolleybus system. © Department of Management of the Regional Operational Programme, Lublin

" The use of the latest technological solutions will provide at least 35 years-worth of service equipment and improve the working conditions of substation operators. For example, from one of the new Control Centre Substations, an employee will be able to oversee the entire trolleybus network in Lublin. The modernisation carried out will also enable further expansion of the trolley bus network in Lublin. "

Magdalena Lis, Managing Department of the Regional Operational Programme, Lublin

Lublin’s citizens now have an efficient, reliable and green means of urban transport at their disposal, while pressure on the city’s road network has been substantially eased.

Trolleybuses are electric buses powered from overhead wires. Unlike a tram or streetcar, they do not require a track, and are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel-based vehicles.

In order to increase the trolleybus service in Lublin, a EUR 14.5 million project, was required to radically overhaul the network’s power supply, which had become outdated and unreliable.

Old, worn-out equipment and power structures were completely renovated, with new Control Centre Substations (CSPs) established. These CSPs remotely control the power supply to trolleybuses, ensuring a constant service and significantly reducing the risk of outages.

How local citizens benefit

The infrastructure upgrade has brought numerous benefits to local citizens. Unreliable power supply previously meant that trolleybuses occasionally broke down in the street, presenting a danger to other road users, causing congestion and hugely inconveniencing travellers.

The project has enabled a new trolleybus service to be put into operation, which is both more reliable and user-friendly. Ticket machines communicate in several languages, while security has been tightened with the addition of cameras. Trolleybus users also benefit from free internet and special ramps have been introduced to provide better wheelchair access.

Environmental and economic gains

Lublin’s outdated and unreliable public transport fleet did little to encourage public transport use.

The attractiveness of the new service, however, has helped to take cars off the road. Given that the average car in an urban environment is occupied by only 1.2 people, switching from private to public transport can have an appreciable effect on congestion.

Increasing the trolleybus service has improved the urban environment in other measurable ways. Compared with traditional electric motors, trolleybuses emit 10 to 15 dB less noise, and are much more energy efficient.

Finally, through increased punctuality, less congestion and greater comfort, the urban experience in Lublin has been dramatically improved. This has made the city a more attract place to live and work, providing a boost to the local economy.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Renovation of traction power rectifier and trolleybus fleet replacement” is EUR 14 476 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 6 258 000 through the “Lubelskie” Operational Programme for the 2007- 2013 programming period.

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