Challenge 3: Insufficient public transport quality

Public transport is the main mobility mode in Lviv. Insufficient quality of public transport is one of the most pressing issues in the city. This should come as no surprise considering that more than half of the city residents use public transport on a daily basis for commuting purposes. Such a high share of using public transport is a very good indicator for the city. However, this is the result of no realistic alternatives available for most residents rather than their conscious choice.

Public transport should be made attractive for all residents in the city

Objective 3. Efficient, comfortable and eco-friendly public transport

3.1. Quick and comfortable movement by public transport.

The priority for public transport (PT) helps to accelerate its movement, thus reducing the trip duration. A passenger may accurately anticipate the travel time, while public transport could carry more passengers with the same number of the vehicles, due to the shortened turnaround time.

3.2. The predictable public transport, convenient intervals around the clock.

First of all, the public transport timetable should be predictable. It is especially important to know the arrival time to the stop when the route`s interval is longer.

3.3. Positive image of public transport and its user.

With the implementation of the priority measures and procurement of the high-quality rolling stock, public transport becomes a convenient and predictable way of moving around the city. However, it keeps the reputation of the transport for students, retired and poor people. It is important to debunk this stereotype.

3.4. Extensive public transport network, convenient transfers between the lines and modes of transport.

Well-developed and extensive network allows getting from any part of the city to the desired destination. However, it is impossible to make the intervals between all these points short. Thus, the transfers improve the network efficiency and comfort of moving around the city. In addition to public transport as such, the intermodal stations shall also include other mobility elements (taxi, short-term bicycle and car rent, charging stations, services, delivery service boxes, etc.).

3.5. Convenient walking access to public transport stops.

The path to the stop needs to be of a good quality, have the appropriate lighting, convenient and safe crosswalks, and be barrier-free.

3.6. Public transport accessible for people with reduced mobility.

All  public transport shall be accessible for people with reduced mobility, rather than some  lines and stops only. The drivers should definitely provide aid to passengers on the wheelchairs. If the special transport or taxi are needed to transport the low-mobility person, these services shall be provided and they have to be of good quality.

3.7. Better connection of the city with suburban areas and external transportation systems through public transport.

The car usage in agglomeration grows much faster than in the city. Thus, on a daily basis, during the morning rush hours, more and more private cars enter the city, park near their workplaces, and exit the city in the evening. This creates a huge congestion and has a negative impact on the air quality.

3.8. Decent working conditions of the transport enterprises staff, good technical equipment of the depots.

Technical equipment directly impacts the reliability of the vehicle stock.  Working conditions define the quality of the personnel who agree to work at the company, and, finally – the quality of services rendered to passengers.

3.9. Acceptable public transport fares.

High-quality public transport is always subsidized. If users have to pay full costs, the price will be too high and will distract  most passengers. If the price is too low, substantial amounts will have to be provided from the city budget. It will claim a significant part of the budget, while users would not value the low-cost service.


Demonstration measures:

  1. The priority of the public transport at the traffic lights and prioritized public transport line (especially in the places of traffic jams concentration).
  2. The high-speed tram No. 8: traffic priority from Chervonoyi Kalyny Ave. to Soborna Square.
  3. Introduction of the electronic ticket.
  4. Promotion of the convenience of transfers and use of different modes of transport in different situations and for various purposes.
  5. Unification of the trolleybus network in the city center to launch the diametric lines through the city center.
  6. Re-establishment of 300 meters of the tram line on Kopernyka St. in order to provide the opportunity of routes optimization and to avoid the excessive mileage.

Catalogue of activities

To provide quick connection with remote parts of the city:

  • Elaborate and develop the structural axes of the city.
  • 4-5 quick prioritised connections with the remote parts of the city: Sykhiv – city center (public transport lane on Franka Street), Naukova Street – city center (Kniahyni Olhy-Sakharova, tram line (tracks) on Kopernyka Street, Vitovskoho Street), Riasne – city center (reconstruction of Shevchenka Street), railway station – city center (Bandery Street), north part – city center (bus lanes on Chornovola Avenue, reconstruction of Mazepy and Hrinchenka Streets).
  • Reconstruction projects of the city center squares that are most important from the point of view of transportation efficiency, and which can prioritize public transport (Franka Square – Stryiskyi Market, Kropyvnytskoho Square, crossing of Sakharova and Vitovskoho Streets, Rustaveli – Petrushevycha Square, Soborna Square, Mytna Square).

Introduction of the E-ticket

The concept of the “electronic ticket” should be understood in a broader context rather than the electronic fare collection system, or even a single ticket allowing transfers. The main advantage of the e-ticket system is that the city would be able to procure transport services and have economic levers to ensure its high-quality performance. All the revenues from fares would go to the city. Based on the quality-related transport services indicators, the city would pay to the transport operators, who would consequently pay the drivers. The scheme where the driver is only interested in driving with the sufficient number of paying passengers on board would be ended. Such system reboot would provide the opportunity to extend the working time of public transport, to strictly adhere to the traffic timetable, to optimize the route network due to fast and efficient transfers, to increase the carrying capacity of the network with the available rolling stock. Consequently, the electronic ticket will allow to completely get rid of “marshrutkas” (private route buses) in favor of high-quality vehicle stock and sustainable transportation services. It is necessary to introduce a single pervasive public transit route numbering system in order to logically replace the type of rolling stock during repairs (e.g. replace trams with buses).

To increase and prioritize public transportation:

  • To prioritize public transport at traffic lights and dedicated lanes for public transport, especially in the areas where traffic jams occur. 
  • To launch a program for the stage by stage implementation of all the public transport prioritizing.
  • To accelerate passengers boarding (in / out) at the stops. To get rid of bus bays, except where required. To arrange comfortable platforms.
  • To organize consistent trainings for public transport drivers so they could provide high-quality transportation services. Training to approach the curb with a control system (the bus and trolleybus approach lines to stops).
  • The high-speed tram No. 8: Traffic priority from Chervonoyi Kalyny Ave. to Soborna Square.
  • Placement of PT timetables at the stops and online, and compliance with them, including digital timetable boards at the stops.
  • Minimization of traffic delays caused by accidents.
  • To prevent public transport obstruction during mass events.
  • Urban squares reconstruction projects in terms of making public transport priority No.1 (Franka Square – Stryiskyi Market, Kropyvnytskoho, Sakharova – Vitovskoho, Rustaveli St. – Petrushevycha Square, Soborna Square, Mytna Square).
  • Increasing network flexibility, i.e. turnarounds, additional turns not used in daily traffic but allowing to organize route changes in case of an accident or repair works.
  • To allow bicycle riders to use public transport lanes in places where there is no bicycle infrastructure nearby.

The system of quality communication with residents about public transport:

  • Announcements and clarifications in the mass media regarding current information on transport and infrastructure.
  • Efficient notification of passengers about changes introduced to public transport routes.
  • Promoting the comfort of public transport through personal stories.
  • Awareness-raising campaign “There is no reason for speeding over 50 in the city”.
  • Organizing car-free days / a day with-out car
  • Promotion of intermodality. 
  • Awareness-raising campaign on safety and comfort of walking, prevention of traffic accidents involving pedestrians.
  • Training park for children on traffic rules (with real markings, signs, bike rental of small scale).
  • Annual organization of the European Mobility Week.

To increase the comfort of transfer points and nodes, encourage multimodality

Transfer nodes can significantly improve the efficiency of the city’s transportation system. Such stations should be convenient not only in terms of the interchange between different public transport routes, but also in terms of changing public transport types.
This purpose in mind, it is necessary to provide for the following:

  • Convenient transfers, transfer nodes arrangements.
  • Comfortable stop shelters, convenient and safe approaches (walkways).
  • Information about transport schedules, routes and possible transfer points
  • Public transport accessible for people with reduced mobility – in all parts of the city.
  • Bicycle storage facilities at the transfer points and nodes and bicycle rental stations.
  • Combining important transport stations with car parking facilities.
  • Availability of charging stations for electric bicycles, scooters, cars, and taxis.

Transport nodes

Potential transport nodes and hubs, Integrated Urban Development Concept


To start planning a commuter urban train

Pre-project studies and planning implementation of city train.

There are thoughts that all problems with movement in Lviv could be solved by building a metro. But it all depends on economic opportunities. The function of the metro is to efficiently transport a large number of people without delays in movement, regardless of traffic. An alternative to the metro in Lviv can be a city electric train using existing railway tracks.

Urban train

Scheme of potential urban railway connections, Integrated Urban Development Concept [IUDC]

To develop and improve the efficiency of trolleybus network

The trolleybus network is quite long in the city (129.3 km as of 01.01.2018) but is extremely worn out. The problem with the current trolleybus network is that trolleybus routes, except route No. 33, do not reach the city center. Although construction of a trolleybus catenary network is the cheapest way of arranging electric transport per capita, finding money from the city budget is very difficult. Instead, a solution has been found that will enable the electric transport network to expand rapidly without the construction of new contact lines – the purchase of autonomous trolleybuses that can travel a certain distance without catenary. 

For the trolleybus network to be efficient, it is important:

  • To update the existing catenary network.
  • To integrate (unify) three parts of the network in the city center
  • To develop the trolleybus network in accordance with the Development strategy of Lvivelektrotrans: Halytske Perekhrestia, Santa Barbara, Anhelovycha, Stryiska, Vyhovskoho, Horodotska (Metro), Riashivska (planned), Hutorivka, Chervonoi Kalyny, Volodymyra Velykoho, Levandivka – Riasne-2, Chernivetska, Novyi Lviv, Pasichna, Medovoi Pechery, Trakt Hlynianskyi, Orlyka, Varshavska, Antonycha.
  • Prioritized development of the network in the following areas: Kulparkivska St. (Antonovycha St. – Horodotska St.), Vyhovskoho St. (Horodotska St. – Patona St.)
  • Procurement of autonomous trolleybuses (with trolley poles for In-Motion charging).
  • Proper repairs and modernization of rolling stock.

To develop and improve efficiency of the tram network

The tram is the most efficient means of on-street public transport that can provide high carrying capacity. It is difficult to imagine Lviv without a tram, and it is good that the city managed to keep its tram network. The further plans are related to the improvement of tram transportation:

  • Repair of tram lines on Kniahyni Olhy, Bandery and Vitovskoho streets.
  • The top-priority task of re-establishment of 300 meters of tram line on Kopernyka St. in order to provide the opportunity for routes optimization and to avoid the excessive mileage.
  • The step-by-step program of restoration of the power supply network with modern special parts (contact and feeder lines, track elements). Whenever possible, to carry out running repairs and maintenance of the tracks during the night time.
  • To develop the network in the following directions: Bus Station-2, Shchurata street, Linkolna St., Shevchenka St., Kniahyni Olhy St. – Truskavetska St and later on to proceed with Avtovokzal and Sykhiv districts, “Halytske perekhrestia”, Pasichna St., to Riasne through the Main Railway Station.
  • Procurement of the rolling stock.
  • Proper running repairs and modernization of rolling stock.

To increase the level of working conditions, technical equipment and maintenance of public transport

The public transportation network is efficient when it is properly maintained and equipped. It involves large investments that are hardly visible to the residents but they indirectly determine the quality of transport services:

  • The arrangement of restrooms and resting places at the terminuses of public transport.
  • Ensuring public transport is clean by arranging modern car washing facilities at the depots.
  • Upgrading of service equipment for public transport and electric transport care: trucks, utility vehicles, other equipment.
  • Proper running repairs and modernization on a regular basis.
  • Reconstruction of depots by installing modern equipment, creating the appropriate working conditions for workers and purchasing required equipment and spare parts.

Photos by: Volodymyr Karaim (2, 4, 5), Oleksandr Shutyuk (1, 3)

Read the full version of the chapter “Challenge 3: Insufficient public transport quality” in the Lviv Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan: