O nama

About us

Information about the history and structure, as well as the vision and mission of our company

Our history

The organisation of public transport in a city constitutes a civilisational achievement. The emergence of urban transit in Pula is associated with a surge in the city’s development during the second half of the 19th century, which called for an adequate solution for passenger transportation.

At the turn of the century, coaches and wagons could no longer serve their purpose as means of transportation and, following the example of many of its peers of the time, the City of Pula started to consider developing a tram network.

In 1897, approval arrived from the Austrian Ministry of Railways for Mr. Rudolf Urbanitzky, a local engineer, to commence with works on the construction of tram tracks. The works actually began in 1902.
After a couple of test runs, the electric tram network was officially inaugurated on 24 March 1904.

This date has been declared Pulapromet’s Day. Thus, Pula got the electric tram five years after Rijeka, six years before Zagreb and 22 years before Osijek. At the time, the tram was a real attraction for Pula.

In the first four months, Pula’s trams carried 410,000 passengers, covered 126,000 kilometres and generated revenues of 50,000 kronen (the historical tender of the Austrian Empire).
Such a successful start gave rise to the idea to construct and extend the network to Fažana and to Vodnjan.

The electric tram symbolised a new era; it was Pula’s pride and one of the most appealing sights to be seen in its streets.

Following the World War I, Pula lost much of its economic significance. As a result, the performance of the tram network slackened and, after thirty years of service, the “good old tram” was decommissioned on 16 April 1934, making room for buses.

In the period from 1934 to 1941, buses operated along the same routes that used to be covered by trams. Due to limited statistics, it is impossible to analyse in more detail the performance of the company that provided public transport services during that period.

When the World War II ended and businesses were finally able to resume their normal operations, the need to organise public transport emerged once again. In 1947, the authorities established a county company for the transportation of passengers in urban and suburban traffic, which operated under different names until 1961. In that period, the service coverage area was extended to include suburban lines to Medulin, Premantura, Marčana, Štinjan, Rakalj, etc.

In the period from 1962 to 1965, Lokalni saobraćaj (Local Transit) – which was, at the time, the name of the public transport operator, sailed through a serious crisis. However, as early as 1967 it entered a period of recovery after it had streamlined and reorganised its operations. In 1967, the company’s depot and the office building were located in what is today Kranjčevića St. (the old glassworks), and the bus station was at Karolina. Working conditions were extremely difficult, especially in summer, when huge amounts of dust were raised. Consequently, the Karolina bus station was paved in 1969.

In 1967, the company’s fleet included the so-called “alphas”, which had been bought from Rijeka’s Autotrolej. While being rather old, the “alphas” enabled the company to fill in the gaps in its bus fleet. A comparison with peer companies show that, late in the 1960s, Lokalni saobraćaj was one of the leading public transport operators in terms of all performance and service quality indicators. Having earned considerable profits, the company used its own funds to purchase 15 new MAN buses.

The performance data for 1971 indicate that the patronage for that year 7.2 million, with a total of 1.9 million kilometres operated. It is interesting to compare these figures with those for 1999, when passenger loadings reached 4.4 million with a practically identical number of kilometres travelled.

Performance levels attained by Lokalni saobraćaj in 1972 gave rise to the idea of fully integrating Autosaobraćaj, another former operator, and Lokalni saobraćaj in order to merge the two companies. Consequently, Lokalni saobraćaj became a member of the Brioni Group*, as a part of which it operated from 1972 to 1984. However, the merger failed to yield the planned results and, early in 1984, Lokalni saobraćaj was spun-off from the Brioni Group. Thus, Pulapromet Utility was established in the spring of 1984 and has been operating under this name ever since.

Pursuant to its Decision of 18 January 1990, Pula’s Municipality Assembly established Pulapromet as a Public Enterprise owned by the Municipality of Pula.

In January 1991, Pulapromet put in operation seven new MAN buses.

As of 1 January 1996, in compliance with the Companies Act, the Public Enterprise Pulapromet was transformed to PULAPROMET d.o.o., a limited liability company owned by the City of Pula and the Municipalities of Barban, Ližnjan, Marčana, Medulin, Svetvinčenat and Vodnjan.

In December 1995, the Company commissioned ten new Mercedes Benz buses (4 full-size solo buses and 6 minibuses).

Since May 1996, the bus terminal for suburban lines has been operating at a new site at Šijana.

In February 2003, the Company introduced a new (electronic) fare system and commissioned six new MAN buses.

The new fare system has been tailored to the existing organisation of passenger transportation, with tickets being cancelled or sold on-vehicle, i.e. by drivers, and passengers boarding exclusively at the front door and alighting at any other door. The fare system constitutes an integral IT solution which integrates a number of functionalities, all of which can be linked by means of contactless RF cards (see Figure 1: System architecture).

Contactless cards can be produced and programmed so as to generate various types of cards and tickets supported by the fare system. The term “production” implies card printing by means of thermoprint or re-transfer technologies, which ensures a permanent imprint on the card, while “programming” implies the allocation of a security code, serial number and other data or limitations specific to each card or ticket.

Since March 2007, urban lines in Pula have been serviced by nine new low-floor Iveco Irisbus Europolis midibuses, each with a capacity for 73 passengers (19 seated and 54 standing) and 9.2 meters in length. On 14 June 2007, the Company also inaugurated the remaining 13 new low-floor Iveco Irisbus Citelis solo buses, each with a capacity for 82 passengers (30 seated and 52 standing) and 12 metres in length.

The new buses are equipped with a state-of-the-art technology which meets the highest environmental standards (EURO 4), they are fully air-conditioned and have an advanced automatic transmission system, rich safety and security equipment (ABS, ASR, etc.), ramps for disabled passengers, and a cutting edge technology (computers supporting the IT system and recording tickets, info-displays indicating the line number and destination, info-displays announcing the next stop, etc.).

Until recently, Pulapromet operated a fleet of 29 buses with an average age of 13.5 years. Due to their age and high maintenance pressures, as many as 18 required an urgent replacement.

The decision to invest in new buses was also made to comply with the statutory regulation providing that all buses which are used in public transport and are older than 18 years must be replaced with new ones by 1 January 2012.

Over a time-span of 103 years, Pula’s public transport system has undergone a series of technological and organisation changes, but – most importantly – it has always survived, grown or stagnated in line with the economic development of the city and the wider area it serviced.

Our fleet presently includes 37 buses. As at 30 June 2007, their average age was 4.08 years.
For several years now, major efforts have been made to find a systematic solution for the financing and functioning of public transport, which means that the owners themselves should fill in any gaps in the revenues required to ensure its normal functioning and fleet renewal, in particular, by way of subsidies, grants or in any such other manner as may have emerged as a solution in other Croatian cities, with particular emphasis on Rijeka and Zagreb as the primary examples. This approach has been applied since 2000.

In the forthcoming period, we will encounter some major challenges. Specifically, we need to review the functioning of all lines, be them profitable or not, to reconsider Pulapromet’s place and role within the city’s overall traffic system and to work on redefining the role of public transport in the City of Pula and the surrounding Municipalities.

Our commitment for the future is to build up the role and significance of urban and suburban public transport. In this view, a key task is to consider the requirements of Pulapromet’s customers and shareholders.