Public Transport Interconnecting Sustainable Tourism Routes and destinations in the SB area
The project idea springs from the recently finalized Interreg South Baltic project Interconnect. That project resulted in an established network for cross-border public transport (PT) planning as well as developed user-friendly tools for cross-border travel by PT. The network identified the potential to apply PT project result on the sustainable tourism business, with focus on rural areas since the lack of a holistic view on sustainable public transport planning applied on the tourism sector was identified as a problem hampering development.
The aim of this project is to prepare for an Action Plan for a cross-sectoral committed partnership focusing on seamless cross-border public transport applied to the tourism sector. The project will prepare an extended project application for final implementation where funding from Interreg South Baltic programme is of certain interest.
The project involves six partners with Region Blekinge (SE) as coordinating part together with Blekinge Institute of Technology (SE), Innobaltica (PL), The Association of Sea Cities and Municipalities (PL), Association of Klaipėda region municipalities (LT), Тhe State Enterprise of the Kaliningrad region “Avtovokzal” (RU). The partnership is integrated in the political platform Euroregion Baltic, with Region Blekinge assigned to lead mobility core issues. a.
Total budget 489 TSEK part financed by Seed Funding from Swedish Institute for Baltic Sea Cooperation
The project will for example use workshops for demonstration of already developed tools, create technical roadmaps for system development, organize stakeholder seminars with tourism sector and define a vision for the planned solution.
We present here the article from the Interreg South Baltic Programme website prepare for the 30th anniversary of the Interreg.
In 2020 we celebrate 30 years of Interreg. On this occasion, we asked representatives of the Interreg South Baltic Programme projects to share their experiences about the Interreg funds and the cross-border cooperation.
Frede Danborg, the International Coordinator in Guldborgsund Municipality, Denmark, and the project manager for the Interconnect project shares his experience from the perspective of the project’s partner in INTERCONNECT project. Let’s talk about Interreg!
What impact has Interconnect had on Guldborgsund Municipality?
Interconnect has both worked to improve public transport between Rostock, Germany and Guldborgsund Municipality, Denmark.
Interconnect has supported a joint local development and provided exciting opportunities to travel across the Baltic Sea between the two project partners.
Interconnect made it easier to buy the InterCombi ticket online. This is a joint ticket that covers both buses and ferries and makes it easier to travel across the Baltic Sea.
Interconnect has assisted promoting the summer bus between Gedser and Marielyst Tourism Resort and is especially aimed at international tourists crossing the Baltic Sea.
Interconnect has prepared a catalogue of new mobility solutions for the residents of our rural areas so that it will be easier to travel to our main city Nykøbing, which is on the travel route to Rostock and Berlin.
Interconnect has completed more than 10 exchanges within education, culture and tourism as well as business. It has involved more than 150 people from Guldborgsund who have visited Rostock and more than 150 people from Rostock who have visited Guldborgsund.
I believe that this cooperation between local associations, institutions and authorities is an important part of a transport project.
Why is it necessary for International Cooperation to achieve those results?
When it comes to cross-border public transport and common local development as in Interconnect, then it can only happen through international cooperation.
The cooperation with Rostock regarding better transport connections and cooperation for joint development is high on our agenda both in Rostock and here in Guldborgsund Municipality.
But still, the international project is needed to make it actually happen! A joint project is a signal and a message to our organisations and to the surroundings that we prioritise these activities. And it is a starting shoot from our management to implement this cooperation.
What role do you think Interreg projects should have in Denmark and Europe in the coming years?
Interreg projects should develop knowledge and relationships between neighbouring countries and neighbouring regions. And they must involve both local and regional authorities, institutions and associations.
Interreg projects should be broad and reflect local and regional development agendas.
They do not have to be research projects or follow narrow specific business branches or professional themes.
For such purposes, you have already in place the Structural Funds, Horizon 2020 and the thematic programmes based in Brussels.
As a very concrete proposal, Interreg projects could provide opportunities for cooperation in the field of health. Not to develop cancer treatment or COVID-19 vaccine, but so that health and care staff in e.g. municipalities could develop new forms of work and methods within public health and prevention and elderly care.
Among all local and regional authorities, these tasks require great efforts and large budgets. I believe that international cooperation in these areas can change a lot.
What European challenges are particularly important to address in international cooperation?
There are many common European challenges that need international cooperation. Therefore, it is good that the EU has a very wide range of different development and support programmes.
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
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.
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…)