We will construct the area around the Ljubljana Passenger Centre
On Tuesday, 10 October 2023, in the City Hall, we presented the layout plan for the Ljubljana Passenger Centre with its surroundings, which will become the central transfer point for passengers using public transport. The construction of this area is expected to continue until the end of 2025.
It is a highly demanding project in which numerous partners are involved. Participating in the construction of the public part of the project (public transport infrastructure) are the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Slovenian Railways, the company Elea iC – Engineering and Consulting (Elea iC projektiranje in svetovanje, d.o.o.), Bevk Perović Architects, Design (Bevk Perović arhitekti, projektiranje, d.o.o.), Landscape Architecture Design Studio Krajinaris (Krajinaris, prostorsko načrtovanje d.o.o.), Urban Institute of Ljubljena (Ljubljanski urbanistični zavod, d.d.), the Traffic Technical Institute at the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering of the Univeristy of Ljubljana (Prometnotehniški inštitut Fakultete za gradbeništvo in geodezijo v Ljubljani), the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy and the Slovenian Infrastructure Agency. The private partners Mendota Invest and Corwin, which will build residential and commercial buildings in the area, and the City of Ljubljana Public Housing Fund, which will build new city apartments in the area, are also participating in the project. It needs to be considered that land ownership is fragmented into private and public.
Road widening for public traffic only
The broader area of the bus and railway station will get a completely new appearance, new green spaces and new and safer traffic areas. The project fully complies with the guidelines of the sustainable development of urban mobility, all expansions and construction of new roads are planned exclusively for public passenger traffic (no roads are widened for private cars), and they are designed in such a way that buses from the city centre can take the shortest and fastest route to the ring road. The plan to renovate the area also puts cyclists and pedestrians in the foreground, for whom new surfaces are planned, which will ensure greater safety for all road users.
Central transfer point
The area of the Ljubljana Passenger Centre will be the central passenger transfer point in the country, so we want to ensure the highest level of efficiency and comfort for passengers and other users of the space. The fundamental goal is a traffic plan that will ensure the safety and smooth flow of city traffic, that is, the priority management of all types of public passenger traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.
How public passenger traffic will be managed
Roads that are designated for reconstruction in the broader area of the Ljubljana Passenger Centre – Trg OF, Masarykova, Šmartinska, Vilharjeva, Železna, Topniška and Linhartova cesta – will get an additional – yellow – lane, which will be reserved for all public passenger transport vehicles. With this, we will speed up and ensure more efficient public transport for passengers, we will coordinate timetables, improve the interplay of different forms of mobility and shorten the travel time of passengers. At the same time, intercity and international bus traffic from the central station will be directed toward the ring road over the shortest route without driving around the city.
The intersection of the city bus lines, which has been at Bavarski dvor until now, will be moved in front of the railway station to Trg OF, that is, at Masarykova cesta.
High-quality and safe surfaces for pedestrians and cyclists
Pedestrians and cyclists will have more space after the renovation, and their safety will also increase. Sidewalks and bicycle lanes will broaden, and some key pedestrian crossings will also be widened. Effective crossing and overcoming the distance between the north and south terminals for bus passenger traffic will be achieved with a new overpass above the railway tracks, where a moving walkway is planned to speed up walking, and an underpass under the railway lines, where cyclists will have a two-way lane separate from the pedestrian lane, and exits from the underpass will be equipped with ramps.
We will also arrange two so-called plazas – public areas designed as a square with urban equipment, greenery and a water element. We are also planning to set up an additional station in the bicycle-sharing system Bicikelj and other points of vehicle-sharing service providers.
Even greener surroundings
In Ljubljana, we are aware of the importance of city trees, which have a significant impact on the quality of life and mitigate the consequences of climate change, which is why we always plant new trees and greenery in the surrounding area with all road renovations. This will also be the case in the vicinity of the Ljubljana Passenger Centre. We will plant over 17,000 m2 of new green areas (now there are 9,600 m2).
We will also line Linhartova cesta, where the first phase of the renovation will begin shortly, with trees. In the first phase, 117 trees will be newly planted, 78 will be preserved, 51 will be removed, and 25 will be transplanted to other locations. In the second phase, 97 trees will be newly planted, and 45 will be transplanted.
Parking spaces for motor vehicles, bicycles and scooters are planned under the area of the Ljubljana Passenger Centre. For all facilities together (bus and train stations, Centre Emonika and Vilharia), 4,093 spaces are planned for bicycles (3,775 covered parking spaces and 318 outdoor parking spaces), 272 spaces are planned for scooters and 3,000 parking spaces for cars. Parking spaces for motor vehicles in the underground garages will enable us to transform the existing parking spaces in this area into a higher quality, green public space, especially friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.
The construction timeline
We are still coordinating the timeline of individual construction and reconstruction works. The renovation of the railway overpass on Dunajska cesta has already begun, the expansion of the overpass is planned for 2024, that is, the underpass on Šmartinska cesta and the renovation of the section of Šmartinska cesta from its intersections with Vilharjeva cesta and Njegoševa cesta. In parallel with the construction of the infrastructure, the Slovenian Railways will build a new bus station at Vilharjeva cesta and then demolish the existing one, while private investors' facilities will also be built during this time. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2026, depending also on private investors and obtaining building permits for individual units.
The value of all investments falling under the Ljubljana Passenger Centre amounts to 1 billion euros.
Due to the comprehensive development of the area, several roads and public spaces will be closed in the coming years, so we expect major traffic jams in the broader area throughout this time. We are already asking all road users for their patience and understanding, as the goal of this project is to significantly improve the current state of traffic, especially public passenger traffic, as well as conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time creating a high-quality public space, ensuring better traffic safety and accessibility for all.