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Public Transport or Cars? (Zagreb)

Spoiler: A lot of praising public transport and a lot of hating Zagreb’s roads.

I’ve always been wondering what is more effective, public transport or cars? Recently I have been researching and wanted to put it all in one post.

First things first, public transport, is generally a good alternative to cars and other transportation methods, but it depends from country to country and city to city. I’ll be focusing on Zagreb’s public transport in this post mostly and comparing it with others (hint: It’s not too good, but not too bad)

Zagreb has very bad urban planning. Many lanes, semaphores at every 200m, and big traffic jams (this city is too small for that). They put up buildings next to roads and made the roads either so wide or so narrow that it’s RNG depending on where you go. This is a problem that could’ve been avoided if the roads were built properly at first and then the buildings, but they started mass building of residential buildings even before the roads were finished because there was (and still is) a shortage of living space in Zagreb, and in todays times even if you find an apartment it’s as expensive as if you just rented one in Paris…

Public transport in Zagreb is run by ZET (Croatian: Zagrebacki Elektricni Tramvaj; English: Zagreb Electric Tram), it is mostly funded by the Croatian government and the City of Zagreb.

To understand the basics; Zagreb is split into 4 “main” parts: city centre, west, east, and “Novi Zagreb”, a part of Zagreb below the Sava river. The west and Novi Zagreb are mostly filled with residential buildings and the east and the city center are mostly family houses and old buildings, but it heavily depends on the neighborhood. In short, most navigation is happening between those four parts.

The tram lines most people are using (and the ones I’ll comment on) are the following:

And the most heavily used lines:

Can you see the pattern? All the lines mostly connect the east and the west / Novi Zagreb and of course, pass through the city centre. Most of Zagreb has good coverage with trams but some parts are only connected with buses which can be a problem for people who need to get to one of the main four parts of Zagreb without a car.

The only big problem with public transport here is that it’s very unpredictable. A line could be late, not even come, or even have a different route depending on the drivers’ mood… And I won’t even comment on some drivers’ behavior towards older people. Our public transit system can really improve and build even better connections if we fix all these things. Compared to other EU countries we are way too underdeveloped in terms of it.

Welp, there goes my rant on Zagreb’s roads and half-praise on its public transport.

That’s it for today.

Day 20 of #100DaysToOffload

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