Representatives from Klaipeda Municipality receiving the award, with the catamaran-bus visible behind them, Source: Klaipeda Municipality

Klaipėda to launch Lithuania’s first regular river public transit

Klaipėda to launch Lithuania’s first regular river public transit

The municipality received an award for the project, which previews the usage of a locally designed electric catamaran-bus

The Lithuanian seaside city of Klaipeda has received a Green Transportation Award from the country’s Ministry of Transportation for its breakthrough initiative to launch the first national scheduled river passenger routes.

The Municipality received the award for the promotion of water transport by adapting the local Danė River for passenger transportation. In the coming years, during the warm season, an electric catamaran-bus will run regularly on this waterway.

This e-bus floats

"We are implementing an extremely ambitious blue breakthrough strategy, we are walking step by step on the path of green public transport - not only the philosophy but also the practice of its meaningful implementation. While we are happy and proud of the electric buses that have been running on the streets of Klaipėda for a year, we will welcome the warm season with the electric water buses that run along the Danė River, which have no adequate analogues in the whole country," explained the mayor of Klaipėda Vytautas Grubliauskas.

Intriguingly, the origin of the project is truly local. In 2018 Tomas Vēlius, a water transport enthusiast who started building electric boats for pleasure cruises, created the startup "Popa Boat". Managers of the city’s public transport company "Klaipedos autobusu parkas", managed by the municipality, saw the potential of the idea and became a shareholder and partner. After joining forces, an electric catamaran-bus was created.

The catamaran, created in the Klaipėda Science and Technology Park business incubator, can carry 12 people, with one place adapted for the disabled. Ship length is 10.6 m, and its speed - 11-13 km/h. A charged electric boat can sail for 6-7 hours and cover about 80 km.

The water transport route will be served by "Klaipėdos autobusų parkas", the largest passenger transport company in Western Lithuania. 2 water buses will ply the 8 km route.

And the creation of the necessary infrastructure for the transportation of passengers and the loading of the catamaran was entrusted to another municipal company - the budget institution "Klaipėdos paludimiai", which takes care of the installation of five-stop water buses for passengers. 

The stops are planned at the bridge to Tauralaukis, at the Botanic garden, Žolynų street, Danė bend, at the bridge on Liepų street. In the Old Town, a stationary pier has already been installed between "Meridian" and the entrance to John's Hill Bay.



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