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Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne S.A. in Cracow has performed EU projects of total value amounting to PLN 300 million. One of these projects was the largest project involving public transportation performed so far: Integrated public transport in the Cracow agglomeration - stage I.
MPK S.A. is a carrier, not an organiser of transport.
Since 1st August 2006, public transportation in Cracow has been functioning in an entirely new manner. These changes are connected with agreement concerning the provision of public transportation services concluded by and between the urban gmina of Cracow and MPK S.A. In the agreement, the range of responsibilities of carriers and public transport organisers are clearly divided – the latter function is currently held by Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office (Zarząd Infrastruktury Komunalnej i Transportu). Due to these changes, the role of MPK S.A. is limited only to the transportation of passengers.
The sponsoring of the company was also altered. Revenue from ticket sales goes directly to the budget of the gmina and therefore the company is no longer subsidized by the urban gmina of Cracow (these subsidies were previously used to cover losses connected with business activity). MPK S.A. now derives its income from remuneration for transportation services provided (tram and bus transport) and for supplementary services.
It has already been more than 20 months since the changes to public transportation but many citizens of Cracow, including councilmen, still fail to comprehend the actual range of responsibilities of the carrier. This is evidenced by, for example, numerous questions and comments unrelated to the business activity of the carrier which are every day submitted to employees of MPK S.A.
What is outside the range of responsibilities of MPK S.A.?
1. The location of stops
All decisions concerning the erection of new stops in the city are taken by the Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office. MPK S.A. cannot in any way whatsoever influence decisions concerning the location and/or creation of new stops. The company is also not responsible for organising and the functioning of stops during renovation work.
2. Increasing the frequency with which buses and trams arrive at the stops
This is also a decision to be taken by the Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office. MPK S.A. is subordinate to this office. If citizens wish the tram/bus by which they go to work or school to arrive more often at a given stop, they should appeal not to MPK S.A. but directly to the Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office.
3. Changes to the routes of public transportation vehicles
All decisions with regard to changing the routes of public buses and trams are taken by the Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office. This office takes the decision to shorten or lengthen a line when there is a need to do so.
It is also a responsibility of this office to organise diversions during renovation work.
4. Opening new lines
Citizens of Cracow and the inhabitants of gminas surrounding the city often send to MPK S.A. requests to open a new bus line. The decision to open a new line can, however, only be taken by the Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office – this administrative unit is responsible for the organisation of public transport in the entire Cracow agglomeration (i.e. the city of Cracow proper and several neighbouring gminas where buses of MPK S.A. go).
5. Determining the price of tickets
MPK S.A. also receives questions concerning the prices of tickets. MPK S.A. does not take decisions to reduce or increase the price of tickets or to introduce additional discounts – such decisions are taken by the Cracow City Council. Councilmen determined the current price of tickets for public transportation in Cracow and it is up to them to increase or decrease it.
MPK S.A. is also unable to introduce new types of tickets. The new tariff with new types of tickets (including the agglomeration ticket), introduced in January 2008, was prepared by Roads and Transportation Office (Zarząd Dróg i Transportu), now renamed Public Utility and Transportation Infrastructure Office (Zarząd Infrastruktury Komunalnej i Transportu).
All questions and comments concerning the functioning of public transportation are to be reported directly to this office.
Zarząd Infrastruktury Komunalnej i Transportu w Krakowie, ul. Centralna 53, 31-586 Kraków,
What is within the range of responsibilities of MPK S.A.?
After public transportation in Cracow was reorganised, the range of responsibilities of MPK S.A. includes:
1. The transportation of passengers
This is the main and the most important task of MPK S.A. We try to ensure that our clients travel in comfort and reach their place of destination as quick as possible. This is why the carrier purchases modern, low-floor buses and trams. In order to increase safety, the carrier also installs cameras which record all that happens inside the vehicle.
2. Distributing tickets
An additional task of MPK S.A. is to ensure that tickets are appropriately distributed. In order to make it easier for passengers to purchase tickets, the company introduced the Cracow City Card system, making it possible to buy a season ticket on one's own with the use of 62 vending machines. Additionally, vending machines selling tickets have been placed in many vehicles.
3. Conducting ticket inspections
MPK S.A. is also responsible for preventing stowaways from enjoying free rides. This task was commissioned to three private companies (employing a total of 150 ticket inspectors).