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).
During the year also, the following meetings were held:
- Rostock workshop (11th April)
- The study visit in Klaipeda (21st May)
- Innobaltica workshop in Gdańsk (10th October )
- Karlshamn regional seminar (18th October)
- 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 from:
- Models for sustainable transport system – Region Blekinge;
- Public transport 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 Voivodeship
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 integration.
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.