Rumobil presented in Zagreb

Rumobil was presented in Zagreb on 24th of November 2016 in front of the Pro-rail alliance members and their guests which were mostly transport professionals. 

The project was presented by Ante Klečina, communication’s manager of RUMOBIL and main coordinator of the Pro-rail alliance. He presented that besides Pro-rail alliance there are two more partners from Croatia, HŽ Passenger transport as full partner and HŽ Infrastructure as associated partner. During 2017 one among eight pilot activities will be carried out in Karlovac County in Croatia on Karlovac – Ozalj – Metlika local railway. Some tourist trains will be introduced there in order to boost local traveling and tourist traveling from Zagreb and Rijeka to the area of the city of Ozalj and its tourist attractions.

Klečina emphasised that RUMOBIL will produce guidelines to improve rural public transport in Central Europe regions. Guidelines will be also produced for Karlovac County in order it can supplement its local transport development strategy from 2020 onwards. Croatian partners have great expectations from RUMOBIL because it should produce very specific knowledge on how to establish and maintain successful public transport solutions in rural areas. To maintain such sustainable systems has proven to be very challenging task in many places in Europe. Also, Croatia faces similar problems since most of the Country is rural countryside. To include such areas into European public transport networks in one of the EU goals which is also one of the main goals of RUMOBIL.

A process of development and writing the project’s communication strategy was also presented on the event. It was a very challenging task because the expectations of the Interreg Central Europe bodies in promoting its projects, RUMOBIL included, are very high. Therefore, a very innovative and active approach is needed in order to promote RUMOBIL. Communication strategy should pave the path to such successful promotion.

Mr Slavko Štefičar, board advisor from the HŽ Infrastructure presented the views and the importance of RUMOBIL for this Croatian railway infrastructure manager. HŽ Infrastructure needs all the valuable inputs in order to find out what are the minimal technical requirements when it comes to building and maintaining of the stations and stops on local railways, especially when it comes to the establishment of integrated passenger transport system. He stated that only such systems are the key to a successful public transport both in rural and urban communities.

In Croatia a vicious circle is formed when it comes to rural public transport. At first infrastructure gets minimally maintained on local lines. The resulted with longer traveling times and less passengers. Then passenger operator reduces number of departures due to smaller demand. This resulted with even smaller number of passengers in the end which poses a great hazard of cancelling the services and, in the end, closing certain lines.

It is expected that RUMOBIL will help in providing knowledge that will stop this trends, increase rural mobility and quality of life.

Vlatka Škorić

Photos: Dragutin Staničić, Ante Klečina