It is a great accomplishment for Mobilissimus that the General Assembly of the Bulgarian city of Ruse approved with a large majority the new transport scheme after more than one year of planning process. This will give a base for repositioning the public transport.
Ruse has decided: the local government wants to overcome the negative impacts of the deteriorating public transport combined with the increasing motorization by renewing its services. As a part of this renewal, the trolley- and bus network scheme has been developed– after several months of assessment (passenger counting, questionnaires, household surveys) offering several options to improve the current network. Besides the consultations with the Municipality, we held for experts, NGOs and for the residents of Ruse. These events confirmed the problems revealed by Mobilissimus and specified the demands of the stakeholders.
The planning process resulted in a network scheme which replaces the current competition between the trolleybus and bus service providers to a user friendly and more competitive public transport system: the trolleybus will be the core of Ruse’s network which will be completed by the urban bus network by its circular and feeder lines and by strengthening the bus in areas where trolleys are not operating. We planned several new lines to the active workspace areas, partly in as express services, connecting the biggest housing estates (Drzuhba, Charodeika) to the main employers.
Our goal with the renewal of the trolleybus network is to establish synchronised and attractive frequencies through partially overlapping routes and to connect the densely populated areas to the city centre and to the institutional areas through direct lines. We proposed to include again those sections which have overhead wires but currently are out of service, by to restructuring or replacing those buses which are running there. Trolleys are planned to run every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes during the weekends and in the evenings based on synchronised and interval-based timetables. During the weekdays’ peak hours periods at the common sections the harmonized lines operate every 2-5 minutes, during the day every 4-10 minutes.
According to the plan, some bus routes are planned as bi-directional circular lines connecting Ruse’s most important, densely populated areas, institutional and workspace zones and are appearing on routes where there is no parallel trolleybus traffic. We included several new sections into the public transport: some of them were either recently built (e.g. on the Danube banks) or planned in dense housing estates areas where currently there are no bus services. Buses also operate based on interval-based timetables and are synchronised among each group of lines so that in the city centre there will be 10-15 minutes common frequencies.
The planning of the timetable and the network was supported by DPK CityLineDesigner software and we estimated the impacts on the changing passenger flows with traffic modelling.
The supporting decision of the General Assembly is only the first step towards the implementation: during the next months there is much to do. The introduction of the new plan must be proceeded with planning, building, purchasing vehicles and communicational tasks, but its importance is clear for the current city leadership.