Sustainable public transport in the South Baltic Sea
In Interconnect Interreg South Baltic project, we support the idea of sustainable public transport in the South Baltic Sea. See how easy & pleasurable a journey can be in our coproduction video clip, promoting the #InterCombiTicket connection between Rostock and Nykøbing Falster
This month Umbrella is coming back with the Success Story on INTERCONNECT project. Interconnect supports new and more efficient public transport services both in and between the coastal regions of the South Baltic area – to give the residents and tourists broader and more sustainable options for realising their mobility needs.
Today, the public transport offer in the South Baltic area hardly meets customer expectations for the comfort of making regional and cross-border journeys. Communities of the coastal regions see no clear benefits of choosing public transport over a car for longer trips:
dissatisfied with a shortage of tickets allowing multimodal rides (e.g. bus-ferry-train) across the regional borders,
difficult access to one-spot passenger information
a lack of tailor-made products.
This is particularly visible on ferry links, which see a steadily growing number of cross-border car travels due to customised services and price packages for motorised passengers, while the market segment of foot passengers remains marginal.
Public transport authorities in the South Baltic area require more knowledge about regional and cross-border mobility needs in their communities – both now and in the future – and need deeper expertise on how to match them with sustainable solutions. The usual planning and management tools, market incentives and promotion campaigns in the regional communities to change the travel behaviour tend to fail, as they are usually not preceded by a mapping of no-car travel preferences.
Although many interesting public transport services and products in the South Baltic area have been developed locally, the experience is very scattered and the good practice has not been effectively exchanged at the region-to-region level so far. In addition, some South Baltic regions lack public transport systems and organisations to manage this process.
Read below some useful tips and info from the project partner responsible for the Communication in Interconnect. Answers provided by Ms Ania Dudziak, Project Officer at Euroregion Baltic, Poland.
What has been valuable or what was the most significant asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
Being a part of this project has given me new self-development opportunities and has widened my knowledge about cross-border cooperation. But most of all, it gave me a chance to meet many great people from different countries.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your the country that you did not know before?)
When working in an international environment, you can always discover something new and surprising, something to learn from. I guess every nationality has a lot to bring “onboard the project”, whether it’s cultural, social, or legal issues. The beauty of working with other nationalities is the possibility of creating something unique that might reach beyond any kind of borders.
If newcomer: What was your experience as a newcomer in the Partnership?
As a newcomer in both partnership and international projects, I was amazed by how well people from different environments/institutions can work together, overcoming any boundaries and sharing their experience and knowledge to gain common goals.
What has your organization gained from the project?
The Interconnect project partnership is about being a part of changes that affect our everyday life, e.g. sustainable transport, mobility etc. The partnership gave us a great chance to extend the contact network of experts, local institutions and companies to cooperate with in the future. It is also a significant opportunity to share know-how and international experience in implementing technical solutions when it comes to a particular area of regional development.
How has the project made an impact on your area?
A great success of the Interconnect project is the intense cross-border cooperation and pilot work to implement technical solutions in developing a model of paying for public transport journeys in cross-border traffic between Region Blekinge(Sweden) and Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland), as well as the development of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship.
Has something changed/ improved thanks to your Project? The process of the implementation of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship has already started, which will have a significant impact on the ease of use of public transport in this area.
Do you have any good advice for potential new organizations that wish to enter into international projects and CBC networks?
No organization should hesitate to enter into CBC networks and transfer their project ideas to the international level. Reaching international partners gives a project better chances of evolvement and implementation.
The past year was a busy time
for all Interconnect project partners, as it was marked by several meetings and
promotion of the project itself.
The 2019 kicked-off with a partnership meeting in
Karlskrona where representatives of Stena Line, Region Blekinge
and Blekingetrafiken discussed one ticket
solution for the ferry passengers travelling without a car between Blekinge
(Sweden) and Pomorskie Region (Poland).
year also, the following meetings were held:
Rostock workshop (11th
The study visit in Klaipeda
Innobaltica workshop in Gdańsk
(10th October )
Karlshamn regional seminar (18th
The study visit and project
partner meeting in Rostock and Warnemunde (6th December)
Furthermore, the Interconnect
project was presented on several events such as
10th Annual Forum of EUSBSR in Gdańsk, or
the ‘Boosting Cross-Border Region through better transport’ conference in
Brussels, where the moderator noted it as one of
the most interesting ongoing cross-border projects.
The biggest event of the past
year was undoubtedly the Interconnect project mid-term conference held on 5th September
2019 in Elbląg. During the meeting, the following thematic fields were defined:
identification of needs of using alternative means of transport to a personal
car, traveller-friendly offer and strengthening cooperation in the field of
public transportation. The conference tackled all of the three areas, but
considering the selection of speakers, it mainly has focused on the cooperation
of different stakeholders in the field of shaping a traveller friendly offer.
The conference was opened by the Mayor of Elbląg, Mr
Witold Wróblewski, who emphasized the growing importance of cooperation between
different stakeholders and cities. Agata Ludwiczak, the representative of the
Euroregion Baltic, presented the aim of the conference, i.e. including the present
condition of public transport integration on the regional level and the
analysis of the experience of other countries in the Baltic Sea Region.
During the conference
regional experts and municipalities representatives presented best-practices
Models for sustainable transport system – Region
tariff and ticketing integration – Innobaltica and Pomeranian Voivodeship;
Integrated transport in the
agglomeration – benchmarks from the operational point of view – Rostock;
The positioning of public
transport integration in Olsztyn and catchment area Warmian-Masurian
One of the main conclusions of the conference
was that the so-called ‘soft projects’ consisting of developing international
cooperation (e.g. INTERCONNECT) constitute an essential foundation for good
practices popularization. They also contribute to the limitation of risk in the
modern innovative solutions development, e.g. in the scope of tariff-ticket
The September conference also resulted in several open information meetings regarding the modern public transport payment system FALA that will revolutionize travelling in Pomorskie Voivodeship and the city of Elbląg. Responsible for the implementation of the project is the Interconnect project partner – Innobaltica. The tender for the implementation of the FALA system in Pomorskie Voivodeship was announced on 20th December.
At the end of the year, another Interconnect partnership meeting took place. On 5th December, in Rostock, the project partners not only discussed past project activities and future challenges of the project but also took part in a very fruitful workshop on the catalogue of solutions for sustainable public transport.
We are pleased to inform you that the Mid-term conference will take place in Elblag on 4th of September 2019 (only for the Project Partners and Association Partners) as a joint event with the Warmia-Mazuria conference on the 5th of September.
We welcome all to join us for the conference on the 5th, please see the agenda below.
On 24-25 of September the 4th South Baltic Programme Annual Event will take place in Ostróda, a city located in the western part of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship in Poland. This year, the annual meeting will be dedicated to sharing experiences and learning from each other about important issues reaching the final stage of projects’ implementation.
Last year around 150 participants from different countries and institutions took part in the event in Klaipeda, Lithuania. This year we anticipate again a high interest as the Annual Event 2019 will give us an opportunity to meet across the exciting South Baltic projects!
Therefore, we invite project partners, representatives of local and regional authorities, scientists, researchers, businesses, NGOs, politicians interested in the fields of green technologies, environmental protection, maritime industry, labour market, sustainable tourism and transport.
The first day – networking, capitalisation and social activities
On the first day networking activities, seminars and discussions will give us an insight into the important issue of capitalisation. To strengthen and create new cooperation networks we, of course, took care of social activities.
The second day – communication, durability, future challenges and expectations
On the second day, two sessions of parallel workshops will be led by invited experts, Regional Contact Points and the Joint Secretariat team. You will have the opportunity to exchange with other experienced project partners on issues such as sustainability of results, the upcoming Programme Period and challenges in intercultural cooperation.
The registration will be opened by the end of July. As the number of participants is limited, hold your travel arrangements until getting the confirmation of registration.
Stay tuned and see you in Ostróda this Autumn!!!
Adopted in December 2017 as a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, INTERCONNECT serves as a clear example of a change in the public transport system in the Baltic Sea Region. Indeed, the EUSBSR is implemented, among others, by flagships namely a single project, a set of project contributing to the same action or a process. According to the EUSBSR the label of a flagship can be given to a project/process that fulfils certain criteria: it has a high macro-regional impact; it contributes to meeting the objectives, indicators and targets of the EUSBSR; it is related to the implementation of one or more actions of the policy area/horizontal action concerned.
The kick-off meeting of the INTERCONNECT project took place in Karlskrona (Sweden) on 4-5th October 2017. Organized by Region Blekinge, the project’s Lead Partner, the event aimed at organizing the work of the partnership while promoting its practical objectives dedicated to the establishment of sustainable cross-border public transport solutions in the South Baltic area. (more…)
On 16th December 2016 a partnership led by Region Blekinge submitted a joint project to break the car dependence trend in the South Baltic area. (more…)