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21 new buses for Zadar and the county – white and silver swans of Liburnija

21 new city buses for Zadar were delivered through the EU-funded project of Zadar public bus operator Liburnija Ltd. The carrier organized the media presentation of the new vehicles on Thursday, December 1 at the Center for Creative Industries in Zadar.

Liburnija invested around €2.1 million in the purchase. The investment was successfully supported by a €4.5 million grant from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 – 2020. The Grant contract was signed by Liburnija, the Ministry of the sea, transport and infrastructure, and the Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFCA).

Thanks to the project, six silver Mercedes-Benz Conecto low-floor buses will operate in Zadar. 12 high-floor Iveco Crossway Line buses and one bus with a ramp for the disabled, as well as a pair of three-axle Mercedes-Benz Intouro L buses, will operate on the suburban and county lines in Zadar County.

The host at the presentation of the buses was the director of Liburnija d.o.o., Edvin Šimunov. Representing the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, the press conference was attended by State Secretary Josip Bilaver, and representing the Central Finance and Contracting Agency, acting director Dragan Jelić.

Swans replacing the ‘gas guzzlers’

The new diesel buses, which are distinguished by lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, a higher level of safety, comfort and accessibility for vulnerable groups, will replace the same number of end-of-life vehicles.

Director Šimunov stated the goals of fleet renewal: “The greatest emphasis is placed on the fact that the use of new vehicles and the elimination of some of the current ones will result in 359 fewer tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We must not forget those old buses and old fleets that brought Liburnija this far. If it weren’t for them, we could not have reached today’s gifts. I believe that local self-government, our passengers, drivers, maintenance workers and ultimately our environment will benefit from this.

Today we are showcasing 21 new buses from this second call for proposals, but we must not forget the 25 buses from the first call. All in all, Zadar is richer by 46 new buses. The important thing is replacing part of the fleet, because the former buses were no longer suitable for the current traffic in Zadar and Zadar County. Most importantly, absolutely everyone will benefit from this project, especially children, elderly people and persons with disabilities, because all buses are easy-access,” said Dragan Jelić.

Liburnija acquired 25 buses in a similar project in 2019. Together with the last delivery of 21 vehicles, it has renewed more than half of the fleet. The average age of buses in use in the City of Zadar and Zadar County fell below five years.

The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has launched two calls for proposals, supporting the purchase of buses for the provision of public urban transport services. €89.4 million was allocated through these tenders to renew the vehicle fleets of transport companies majority-owned by local self-government units, in nine cities in Croatia.