Construction of the tram route to Mistrzejowice is a practical response to the objectives specified in the Climate change adaptation plan for the City of Kraków until 2030. This will lead to reduction of traffic pollution and increased resistance of the transport sector to adverse effects of extreme weather events.
One of the most important objectives of Kraków is to reduce air pollution emissions. Particulate matter, sulfur oxide, nitric oxide – dispersion of these substances which are hazardous to health can be stopped. The actions taken however have to be diversified. One of the tools is to encourage as many residents as possible to use collective transport and to show that there is a more eco-friendly alternative, e.g. riding a bike or using public transport. However, in order to convince the motorists of Kraków to change their habits, a friendly infrastructure is indispensable.
Construction of a fast tram connection between the densely populated area of Mistrzejowice and the city center will be a special response to the residents’ need to be provided with well-organized collective transport in this part of the city. A dedicated tunnel, traffic control system, modern rolling stock powered by “green” energy – all that is to encourage residents to leave their cars parked and take the public transport.
Blue-green infrastructure for northern Kraków
The project will also lead to reduction and mitigation of effects of high temperatures and heavy rainfalls which have an increasing impact on the cities at our latitudes, since the tram route project is to be accompanied by the so-called blue-green infrastructure along the tracks: green trackbed increasing the natural water retention, “green” passenger waiting shelters, wildflower meadow, shared foot and cycleways as well as solutions for the elderly and people with disabilities. Also, compensation plantings are planned (1:1); they will include species resistant to difficult urban conditions, among others: drought, salinity or freezing.
The project includes a partial modernization of the drainage system in the area where the tram route is to be located, which will also have an impact on water retention in case of rainstorms.
Tram to Mistrzejowice powered by clean energy
Modern, quiet and energy efficient rolling stock which will run on the designed route does not need fossil fuels to transport the passengers. It is electricity powered – in Kraków, it is “green” energy from renewable sources which are climate neutral. On the basis of a 2-year contract with a big energy company, Kraków is provided with supplies of clean power, used i.a. for trams.
As part of the project of the tram route to Mistrzejowice, also the use of small photovoltaic systems, producing power for the operation of the route is being considered. They could be installed e.g. on some of the waiting shelters, providing self-sufficient power supply for lighting.