European Trolleybus Day. How it is going on?



Since 2010 the European Trolleybus Day (ETD) is being celebrated on an annual basis on the first Saturday of the European Mobility Week. It is a day fully dedicated to trolleybuses. With this initiative, the European TROLLEY project calls attention to trolleybus transport as an important part of sustainable urban mobility in European cities. ETD activities range from information campaigns and open days at trolleybus depots to children’s painting competitions or sweepstakes.


The European Trolleybus Day (ETD) is a public-oriented event organised every year on the first Saturday of the European Mobility Week. The event is generally accompanied by information activities, contests, games and education around various aspects of trolleybuses. Target groups are all passengers and potential future passengers.


The annual European Trolleybus Day is intended to raise the general public’s as well as trolleybus passengers’ awareness of trolleybuses and their advantages through a mix of activities. By experiencing the advantages of trolleybuses (e.g. no local emissions, low noise levels) and their effects, people are encouraged to consider using them more often or for the first time.


A European Trolleybus Day can be organised in every European trolleybus city or any city interested in trolleybuses, but could take a different form depending on the local trolleybus network (e.g. number of lines and buses), trolleybus experience or the specific trolleybus history in a city. It can be as simple as an organised trolleybus ride or as large as an outdoor event for thousands of people.

Possible partnerships (list not comprehensive)
  • local administration/public transport operator

  • media (press, radio, TV)

  • industry (bus manufacturers, suppliers)

  • environmental and other community groups

  • local schools and universities

  • local employers or energy suppliers

  • photo exhibition on trolleybus history

Venue and scale of the event
  • The scale of the event depends on the resources available to carry it out.

  • The venue should be easy to reach by public transport, bike and by foot. In general, a visible, central location helps to attract passers-by (city centre). If one focus of the event, however, is on technical issues, the trolleybus depot could be a more appropriate venue. Ideally, free test rides with trolleybuses and site visits of the depot should be offered from the event location in the city centre.

Possible activities


You’re only limited by your imagination with regard to the activities that can be offered at an ETD. The main thing to keep in mind is to integrate fun with information and education. Some possibilities include:

  • Day of open door/ Visit of the depot (numbered tickets: memory for participants and you know number of guests)

  • Group trolleybus rides

  • A quiz with questions about the trolleybus in your city (perhaps with a nice prize)

  • Photo competitions and painting contest for children (perhaps with a nice prize)

  • Trolleybus painting or writing on a trolleybus (on an old one that is still in operation)

  • Information point inside a trolleybus

  • Installation of a comment/suggestion box

  • Interviews and questionnaires

  • Cinema (show the TROLLEY movie in a darkened trolleybus)

  • Parade of old vehicles (Oldtimerparade)

  • Guided e-bus tour (with city-guide)

  • Activities like: e-bus pulling, try to wire up

  • Interactive games

  • Ebus –Training with specific target groups (e.g. dogs,…..)

  • Testimonial (autograph session)

  • Cooperation with local Organisations

Who and what should be there
  • Local trolleybus experts and representatives of the local administration or the public transport provider should be present and talk about the community’s trolleybus initiatives.

  • Inviting a local celebrity (e.g. a member of a local sports team, media personalities, a politician) to participate in the event is a good way to draw media attention and raise awareness of it.

  • The availability of food and drinks makes people stay longer. Some music makes them feel comfortable.

  • Make sure to have flyers, brochures and other information material available. Gadgets and promotional material, e.g. for children, add a fun factor.

Promoting the ETD
  • Make use of the local media and other means of public distribution of information.

  • Connect the ETD to other activities of the European Mobility Week that draw a large crowd.

  • Posters should be distributed widely, including at community centres, in shopping streets, at schools and kindergartens, at the tourist information centre, etc.

  • Advertising can be placed on public transport vehicles (e.g. through swing cards, posters).

  • Social media can be used to announce the event and launch competitions.

Premium Kit

Each participant how will take care for the upcoming 4th European Trolleybus Day on 21th September 2013 will receive following materials:


Posters A3

Posters A2




 ETD_7 ETD_6  ETD_9


Depending on the scale of your event and foreseen activities it can be quite a bit of work to organise it and it is fairly labour-intensive. In terms of covering other costs think also of sponsorship through partner organisations.

Evaluation of impact

Count the number of participants. This can be done at each individual activity and/or an overall count at the ETD. It can also be done with something small and appealing like a trolleybus stamp on participants’ hands or a wristband such as those used at festivals. If you have volunteers stamping hands or putting on wristbands (and counting), you can count the total number of attendees and can be relatively certain you have not counted people twice.

If you collect contact information from participants, you can conduct an online survey a few days or weeks after the event to find out if they liked the event and were encouraged to use a trolleybus more since the event.

Another promising evaluation approach is to evaluate press reports after the event.

Considerations and lessons learnt

Through an ETD you can reach a large number of people at one time. It is a great venue to inform and educate people at the same time as letting them have fun. Hands-on experience is the best form of promotion. If possible, you should plan to make your event annual rather than a one-time event so that you can improve it each year and watch interest and participation levels develop over time. But, assuming your venue is outdoors, your success may depend on the weather. Let this not discourage you.

Linking the event to the European Mobility Week lets your citizens and passengers know that they are participating in something larger than just a local festival.

Do not underestimate the value of food and drinks, music and competitions! These are the things that create a fun atmosphere and encourage people to come and to stay longer.

Good practice cases

On 18 September 2010, the first European Trolleybus Day was celebrated in Salzburg, Brno, Eberswalde, Gdynia, Parma, Leipzig and Szeged. The 2nd ETD took place on 17 September 2011. The third edition tooked place on 22 September 2012.

Brno, Czech Republic


Brno celebrated the first ETD in 2010 with an open day at the trolleybus depot and an info point inside a historical trolleybus on a main city square. A focus of the event was on families with kids who were informed about the operation of trolleybuses and could even take the seat of the driver. Miniature trolleybuses were the greatest attraction for children. Hydraulic ramps in the depot enabled all visitors to have a look at trolleybuses from below.
Szeged, Hungary


The ETD in Szeged was celebrated with open days at the trolleybus depot giving technical insights into the operation, maintenance and repair of trolleybuses. A painting competition (see winning photo placed on bus on the left) and sweepstakes were carried out. Information booths in the city centre of Szeged promoted the general idea of clean electric trolleybuses.
Salzburg, Austria


In Salzburg, several information points for citizens were created with operator staff giving hands-on information on the operation of trolleybuses. ETD activities included a competition with prizes, free balloons, music, food and drink stands. The European trolleybus marketing campaign “ebus – the smart way” also carried out in Salzburg was promoted at the event. Swing cards in trolleybuses promoted the event and the competition.

More information

The European Trolleybus Day is a highly targeted event marketing tool to promote trolleybuses as clean and sustainable urban transport mode established by the European project TROLLEY ( The events are a suitable communication tool to foster dialogue with the target group “passengers” and they make trolleybuses a real experience. Thereby, main messages like the environmental friendliness or low-noise related quality of life through trolleybus transportation can be intensified. Accompanied by creativity and entertainment factor, e.g. by sweepstakes or innovative gadgets, the European Trolleybus Day can become a big success for all participating cities.

TROLLEY invites other trolleybus cities to follow this campaign and to join the festivities across Europe. The TROLLEY project offers exhibition material, (e.g. photos from trolleybuses from different cities or information posters, or gadgets which can be used free of charge) as well as organisational advice for all trolleybus cities, which would like to carry out an ETD.

If you are interested in learning more about the ETD, contact Alexandra Scharzenberger from trolley:motion via

or a TROLLEY project partner ( representing your country.

This post was prepared according the text which can be found in the website.


One thought on “European Trolleybus Day. How it is going on?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.