Last year you commemorated 125 years of public transport in Belgrade and acquired 95 new vehicles. How much work was done in the previous period to improve the quality of transportation in the city?
A lot has been done over the past four years to improve the quality of transportation in Belgrade. Is that enough? Certainly not, but about 5,800 employees at GSP “Beograd” exert great efforts on a daily basis to meet the needs of our fellow citizens in terms of high-quality, punctual and safe transportation. In addition to 90 buses produced by domestic manufacturers and five electric buses, we also procured 12 school buses that meet all the requirements and standards of safe transportation for our schoolkids. This is the first procurement of this type in Belgrade and Serbia.
How many vehicles are required to meet the needs of Belgrade and its suburban settlements? Can GSP “Beograd” finance these procurements?
– Both GSP “Beograd” and private transportation companies currently have a sufficient number of vehicles to fulfil the schedule defined by the Secretariat for Public Transport, but our goal is also to increase the number of vehicles and rejuvenate them. Increasing the number of vehicles would also lead to shortening intervals between times of departures and arrivals at stations, reducing the number of passengers per vehicle and increasing their comfort, reducing the time needed for passengers to enter and exit transport at stops and, in the end, to a higher frequency of vehicles. It is also necessary to insist on better connectivity between peripheral municipalities and central city municipalities. The number of inhabitants of peripheral municipalities is constantly increasing, so transportation must also be adapted to this fact, and alongside that we are also obliged to provide the same conditions for all users of public transport. If the problem of charging for transport is resolved in the next year or two, then our company would be in a position to finance the procurement of new vehicles from its own resources.
The management of GSP “Beograd”, the City of Belgrade and the Agency for Traffic Safety were the first in Europe to launch the project “Safe Seats for Children, Mothers with Children and Pregnant Women”. Although the project is still in the testing phase, citizens’ reactions have been very positive
With your procurement of electric buses you’ve shown that you’re keeping pace with European and global standards. What is the benefit of these vehicles compared to old ones?
– With the purchase of new electric buses with high capacity capacitors and the establishment of the first such commercial line in Belgrade – ECO 1, GSP “Beograd” – the City of Belgrade and the Secretariat for Environmental Protection, with the full support of Environmental Protection Minister Goran Trivan and Belgrade Mayor Siniša Mali, we showed that we are pioneers in the realisation of such projects. We were the first in Europe to start using this type of vehicle, and now our bold steps are being followed by many other cities. Thanks to the conscientious engagement of GSP “Beograd” workers and engineers, this project came to life in just 13 months. The vehicles have been operational for a year and a half, with an average of 80,000 kilometres travelled, and we are very pleased with the results. In comparison to diesel engines, electric buses recoup the money invested after six years of operations, which speaks for itself. We are proud to have paved the way for the development of public transport in Belgrade, but also for the development and bright future of GSP “Beograd”.