The tram development is necessary to provide service to the developing territories on both Danube river banks

Recently, the J&T REAL ESTATE Company introduced the United Bratislava concept, in partnership with the City of Bratislava and other entities, aimed at creating a modern centre on the Danube river banks that will benefit from the river potential, interconnected by a high quality public transport. JTRE plans to invest more than EUR 1.2 billion in the centre. The construction of United Bratislava includes the development of the tram transport, which even in the strategic documents of the city is considered as the key transport system for Bratislava. Sufficient service of the developing territories of the capital may be only ensured by a high quality network of city public transport and its efficient connection to the integrated transport system within the whole region.
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Through connecting the projects on the left Danube river bank, such as Eurovea, Klingerka, Panorama City, River Park and Zuckermandel, to the new part of Nové Lido on the Petržalka side, an attractive river front will originate, connecting Bratislava into a single compact whole.

"Naturally, the rapidly developing territory in the zones of Čulenova, Pribinova and Nové Lido on the Petržalka side will bring increased demands for the traffic service in the near future," the Executive Director of JTRE, Pavel Pelikán, stated. "To provide a better idea, we are speaking about a territory with more than 91,000 employees and over 17,000 residents, not forgetting the increasing number of visitors – our calculations mention as many as almost 100,000 visitors of the new centre per day. The traffic service of such a territory cannot be solved by car transport development. The most logical solution is a well measured development of the tram network as the key system in Bratislava, and an efficient P+R (park and ride) system," as P. Pelikán, the Executive Director of JTRE explained.

The Bratislava tram network nowadays has about 40 kilometres nowadays. It is developed in several radials. The western radial (direction centre – Karlova Ves – Dúbravka) and three eastern radials (direction centre – Rača, direction centre – Ružinov and direction centre – Zlaté piesky) have been in operation for years. Recently, the southern radial towards Petržalka started to be built. The demographic development and Bratislava evolution in the recent period showed a transfer from the centre of the city east of the Šafárik Square towards the harbour, Prievoz and to the Petržalka river bank. It is necessary to continue building the new ones, by extending and connecting the existing radials from the town centre to the outskirts which are served by the rail transport poorly or not at all. From all the directions, the most acute seems to be the overburdened direction centre – Slovnaft – Vrakuňa.

"If we want to get the people to switch from their cars to public transport, we need to bring a real P+R system to Bratislava – that means that the tram radials directing to the outskirts need to offer standard options for the visitors arriving to the town by car from different directions, to change from their car to a good quality and fast tram," P. Pelikán said.

Main points of the investment plan

Last month, the JTRE Company filed a request to the city council for the assessment of the investment plan (IP), regarding the solution of the Košická and Prístavná branches. The main points of the investment plan include mainly the designs for the new central rail circuit connecting the Ružinov and Petržalka radial. That way, the preconditions for the development of both the inner city and regional transport would be created.

"The current condition of the rail transport does not reflect the town's development and needs in the space where the new town centre is originating. With our designs, we don't intend only to solve the servicing of the developing territories but we are also looking on the transport in the city as a complex and from a wider perspective. Our designs of tram lines provide possibilities of the tram development in the south-east direction towards Vrakuňa, Podunajské Biskupice as well as preconditions to include it into the integrated transport system," P. Pelikán said. "At the same time, the origin of additional radials allows to redirect lines in the event of outage, which impacts the safety and traffic flow. This option is still missing in Bratislava."

Within implementation of the United Bratislava projects, the JTRE Company is ready to build the tram lines in total length of 4.2 kilometres, at its own costs, whereby they will help to build the carrier city tram circuit. The Petržalka radial should run through the left bank centre between Eurovea and SND as well as through the right bank centre in Nové Lido, interconnecting them. By completing the circular system of trams through Pribinova and Košická streets towards the centre – Ružinov radial, a completely new circuit in the wider city centre would origin, comparable for example to the one in London. The concept is aimed at extending the existing network of tram lines so that Nov Lido as well as Petržalka itself could be comfortably connected not only to the town centre, Dúbravka, Rača, Ružinov and Zlaté piesky, but also with the Slovnaft and Vrakuňa areas in the future.

"We consider the development of the inner city tram line as the only efficient way how to unburden both the old and new centre from the car traffic. For example, we expect that by building the Košická and Prístavná branch, the individual car traffic in the Chalupkova zone could possibly be reduced by as much as 30 percent,” P. Pelikán explains. After filing the request for the assessment of the investment plan, a work meeting with all the specialised departments of the capital dealing with transport, as well as introduction of the project to the municipal deputies has already taken place. The project was also presented to the transport commission.

Suggested solutions supported by analyses

The traffic analyses have shown that completion of the tram line in Pribinova and Košická Street will fully cover the requirements for traffic service of the adjacent developing territory. At the same time, it will also offer an alternative and more attractive line of the public transport for implementation of some diametral transport lines, currently lead through the city centre.

It has also been shown that by completing the new Košická tram line, one of the most frequently used arteries of public transport in Bratislava could originate. For example, the profile in the Pribinova section reports burdening of the tram line at the level of more than 50,000 people/day in both directions, which considerably exceeds the burdening at all the other existing profiles within Bratislava (even including the Old Town with the considered extension of the tram line to Janíkov dvor).

The newly designed tram lines report the highest utilisation rate (efficiency of the system in terms of the person/kilometres taken, etc.), which results from the implementation of lines in territories with the highest transport potential.

Building the tram line in Prístavná street will fulfil the basic precondition for the proper function of the Prístavný most park-and-ride yard, which is aimed at reducing the volumes of car traffic generated by the south-east regions of the city and directing further to the central city area.

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