Friday, 1 July 2016

Metro Wilanowska redevelopment gets under way

Metro Wilanowska, on the site of the former Dworzec Południowy (the narrow-gauge railway line terminus for the old Kolej Piaseczyńska) is about to get a massive make-over.

This is an important public transport interchange, where bus and tram passengers can get onto the Metro and vice versa. PolskiBus.Com coaches coming from southern Poland terminate here (the bus line's other Warsaw terminus is Metro Młociny). Other PKS inter-urban and several suburban bus lines terminate here too. No fewer than 20 ZTM bus lines and five tram lines pass or terminate here. Then there's the Park + Ride which can accommodate 280 cars [in other words for as many people as two Solaris Urbino 18 bendy-buses can carry. The bus can take up to 174 passengers. Two such buses can take 348 people, the equivalent of 1.25 people per car.].

Now, for the duration of the development of new office and retail space, the most-heavily used entrance to the Metro station has been closed, the whole site fenced off. Passengers crossing  from the bus termini to the Metro are now forced to walk across unpaved land which will turn to mud as soon as it gets rainy. And it will be like this for a year or two. (Meanwhile, my alternative route to work, the train from W-wa Jeziorki is dreadfully unreliable as work on the track modernisation progresses slowly).

Below: the main route from the bus termini to the most-heavily used entrance to the Metro station. Tens of thousands of people pass this way every day of the working week. As of yesterday - closed.

Below: the fenced-off zone, the Metro entrance within it. Here will arise the Villa Metro building, between the Metro entrance and ul. Puławska beyond. Yesterday morning, on my way to work, I entered the Metro down these steps and, disorientated, boarded a train heading the wrong way. As Metro Wilanowska station is symmetrical, I thought I'd come down through one of the two northern entrances, walked to the end of the platform and caught a southbound train!

Because of the huge number of passengers passing between Metro Wilanowska and the bus termini, it is a good place to do business. Much of it unlicenced. Below: each day, the Straż Miejska ('urban watch') descend upon the various vendors of fruit and veg, cut flowers, pierogi, second-hand books, and hand out fines. These do not act as deterrents, as the same vendors are back the same day. The pitches are so lucrative that the vendors see the fines as a form of business tax; they pay, they carry on.

There have been a couple of concerted efforts to remove the vendors to regulated pitches away from the main thoroughfare; free market economics means they'd soon return to the places with greatest footfall.

Metro Wilanowska will be in a state of redevelopment for several years; a new road will be built between the Metro station and the bus terminal, there will be new shopping space (for the usual retail chains, not for Pani Krysia's fruit and veg stall).

In the meanwhile, for passengers, upheaval and muddy footwear. I will be reporting progress.

Ah! Another piece of public transport news for Jeziorki - a new bus line has been inaugurated today - the L39. 'L' for 'lokalne' lines generally run outside of the borders of Warsaw. This new line runs from W-wa Jeziorki station to Piaseczno via Józefosław and Chyliczki, only the first four stops are within the boundary of Warsaw, ie Zone One. Presumably the intent of ZTM, Warsaw's public transport authority, is to give access to the people living on the new estates of Józefosław easier access to the Warsaw-Radom railway line. Operated by a private bus company for ZTM, the buses are not the usual yellow and red, but are either all yellow or all white. Or turquoise and blue.

So now the bus option for ul. Trombity gets even bigger - there's the 209, 809, 715, L39 - and during term time, the 319. When we moved to Jeziorki in 2002, there was only the 715. Between 7am and 8am there are now seven buses. Not bad at all!

UPDATE: Saturday 2 July 2016. Today I learn from Gazeta Stołeczna that the 715 is to be re-routed down Baletowa, now that the traffic lights at its junction with ul. Puławska are operational. This will be for the duration of the extensive work required to through a viaduct over the railway track on ul. Karczunkowska. Another change is that the 809, Mon-Fris and not that often, is to be extended beyond Bobrowiec to Antoninów and the Southern Cemetery, and run more often, as the 737. So - lots of changes!

All that's needed now is a pavement for ul. Karczunkowska.

This time two years ago:
Local politics, local politician

This time three years ago:
Communication breakdown

This time four years ago:
Getting ready for the opening of Modlin airport

This time nine years ago:
Maybugs in July - a plague of cockchaffers

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