As we have wrote already, on November 20, 2013, a conference was held in the Lithuanian Parliament which was called “Public transport. Current situation and future prospects. Relation of individual and public transport”. This conference was dedicated to discuss current situation of public transport and possible prospects.
Having dealt with the information which was provided during this event, organizers of the conference have adopted a resolution to Prime Minister of Lithuania and to the President of the Association of Municipalities, which was sent to the addressees on Friday, 6th of December, 2013.
We are announcing the text of the resolution now. All news about the answers to this resolution will be announced on www.troleibusas.lt.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius
President of the Association of Municipalities of Lithuania Ricardas Malinauskas
RESOLUTION of the Conference
“Public transport. Current situation and future prospects. Relation of individual and public transport”
Parliament of Lithuania
20th of November, 2013
We, participants of the conference “Public transport. Current situation and future prospects. Relation of individual and public transport”, recognize the importance of public transport. Level of motorisation is increasing as well as number of related problems (urban pollution, increased incidence of serious diseases of pollution, congestions even in the widest streets, etc.), but public transport is teetering on the threshold of survival. Although public transportation is a part of social service, however, municipalities who have problems with their budgets seek to optimize its performance, that is, to reduce the number of routes and their frequency, to rise travel prices – thus further diminishing the attractiveness of service and increasing of private motorisation.
Since 2014 Vilnius is starting to hand over public transport routes to private companies, which can worsen the condition of the municipal operator even more or to wreck the company completely. After handing over of public transport to the private companies concentration of services only in densely populated and busy areas of the city is expected, while reducing the frequency of public transport or even increasing services prices is possible. The conference emphasized that there are not enough funds for renewal of existing transport modes but Vilnius municipality is planning very expensive tram system anyway.
Due to the arguments which were expressed in the conference we are providing these suggestions to the Government of Lithuania and to the Association of Municipalities of Lithuania:
1. All arrangement of public transport is transferred to municipalities now, and they are not always interested in providing a good quality public transport service. We propose to set up an inter-ministerial working group on public transport issues.
2. Taking into consideration practice of neighboring countries where public transport development gets more regular funds from the budget we offer to solve questions about public transport preservation and promotion of the issue in the governmental level.
3. Long-term public transport planning and public transport renewal is necessary. Decisions or Special Plans have to be compatible with the General Plan. It is necessary to develop the schemes integrated transport and traffic organization schemes which have to be based according to the solutions of General Plan.
4. Based on scientific advices and policy of the European Union, the priority development of cities should be given to the electric transport. Capital of Lithuania Vilnius has to the smallest number of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and therefore is the “most ungreen” capital. The European Commission proposes to reduce CO2 emissions in urban areas. The White Paper says that “Improving the energy efficiency performance of vehicles across all modes. Developing and deploying sustainable fuels and propulsion systems” are necessary. It should be noted that a bus which is equipped with the newest internal combustion engine has efficiency only up to 35 percent, electric buses (which are using an electric motor and battery pack) which have just appeared on the market are efficient 52-58%, while the electric motor used by a trolleybus is efficient for up to 88%. However, cities which have electric public transport have not purchased new trolleybuses over the last 6-7 years (excluding those 2 trolleybuses which were assembled in Vilnius). Taking energetic aspect into consideration – when a city is using such electric transport systems as a trolleybus system, the energy consumption is about 2.5 times lower in comparison with the vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines. On this basis, it is necessary to stop the trolleybus system destruction in the cities which has such systems, and to ensure its renewal and development.
5. Public transport needs an integrated approach: it is necessary not only to renew the vehicles, but at the same time to give priority rights on the streets and at intersections for public transport. Public transport coordination and centralized traffic control system is necessary, especially in big cities.
6. It is necessary to improve the quality of passenger service: by reducing the total travel time, by increasing the average travel speed. Cost-effective public transport fares are necessary for urban and inter-urban public transport, and in order to have optimal fares as well fleet renewal and also unprofitable (but necessary) routes it is necessary to have guaranteed subsidies from the budget.
7. Public transport is a social service to the residents – it is most often used by young and elderly people or people with lower income. This area is not being monitored or maintened properly although the situation does not change from year to year, there are not any steps taken to correct it. It is necessary to ensure a regular monitoring of public transport companies and their activities as well as publishing the results in public. It is necessary to ensure that executives of these companies would be elected on their professional basis, while requiring their personal liability for their decisions. It is necessary to consider if various intermediaries between municipalities and public transport companies are necessary, as this increases the cost of services.
8. EU regulations allow municipalities to have their public transport companies and it is also allowed not to make public tenders for all the routes in order to leave sme routes for municipal transport companies. It is necessary to ensure that the decisions taken by the municipal are distributed publicity and that they are transparent. We offer to make public tenders to private companies only to non-major routes.
9. While planning changes in public transport organization, discussions and consideration of the views of the population are required. Those projects of public transport system reorganization which were approved by the unilateral municipal level only, should be revised to include into discussions residents and scientists (not only those who have participated in the preparation of the project), and other stakeholders in order to find the most acceptable solutions.
10. Municipalities are seeking to reduce the costs of public transport for 1 km of mileage, but this should not be done by reducing salaries of drivers – in the conditions of tenders, it is necessary to take into account the social aspect (what minimum salary is guaranteed to drivers after winning the tender).
11. In some countries local government employees get tickets to public transport instead of official car. This not only saves budget, but also guarantees that responsible people are using public transport and then they can see the problems and actively seek to correct them.
Member of Lithuanian Parliament Jurgis Razma
Coordinator of the Movement “Save trolleybuses in Vilnius” Marius Markevičius
Vice-President of the Union of Lithuanian peasants and Greens Tomas Tomilinas
Chairman of the National association of public transport passengers Julius Majauskas
Doctor of Technical Sciences Antanas Klibavičius
Chairman of Lithuanian Trade Union League Vydas Puskepalis
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas ButkevičiusLithuanian Association of Local President MALINAUSKASConference”Public transport. Situation and Prospects.Individual and public transport ratio “RESOLUTIONLithuanian SeimasIn 2013. 20 November.