Split Mayor on Failed Kopilica Metro: “Line Not Discontinued, but Transformed”

Daniela Rogulj

November 6, 2019 – Split mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara commented on discontinuing the metro from Kopilica to the ferry port, saying that the line had not been discontinued, but only transformed into an integrated bus and rail link between the Split airport and the ferry port.

Opara explained for Slobodna Dalmacija: “You journalists called it the metro, we never called it that, it is yet to become that. The line between Kopilica and the City port has not been discontinued; it has been transformed into a transportation link connecting our airport with an integrated line. Anyone who buys a ticket at the Split airport for 25 kuna can board the train Kastel Luksic and continue to the ferry port, which has a stop in Kopilica as well.

We changed the timetable because the passenger intensity is lower and is now getting a new shape by merging Kastela, Solin, and Split, which is what we wanted. This is just the beginning of a long story that will have its finale when we connect the airport with the ferry port. We have now combined it by integrating the bus and rail,” the mayor explained.

When asked by a journalist about the difference between the metro and the line that usually departs from Kastela, stops at Kopilica and continues to the ferry port, Opara replied that, in the meantime, an integrated ticket had been released that has been used in recent weeks.

He explained that passengers now have the opportunity to take an exclusive “Promet” bus line from the airport to Kastel Luksic, and then use the same ticket for the train to the ferry port, which stops in Kopilica.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to connect the airport with the ferry port by rail, for which not all the necessary preconditions have been created, which primarily relate to the construction of part of the railway line in Kastela itself. According to the mayor, this will not happen so fast. However, Opara announced interventions that will occur around Split next year.

“During the winter, we will start the works in Dujmovača; something halted the building permits on Širina and in Sv. Kaji, but as far as I can tell, this has been resolved, so next year, we will have those two stations ready. A process is underway at Trgu hrvatske bratske zajednice to change the DPU, which is necessary to get started on opening that station.

There were two tenders for the HZPP to design the underground station, and the second one succeeded. It will give new meaning to all this work that we insist on doing,”  said the mayor.

How much money would be spent on the entire project could not be said at this time, except for that Promet would participate by contributing one-third of the whole amount.

When asked if the City profited from passengers traveling between Kopilica and the ferry port this summer, Opara explained that this could not be discussed because the project has just begun.

“The project may not be as popular in the beginning as it will be in the future, but we were ready for it,” he added.

Thus, connecting the airport and the ferry terminal will not be feasible until next summer.

“I have to say openly that for our part, we did everything we needed, the Ministry also, and doubts existed with our colleagues in Kastela. I am glad to hear that they have introduced a railway line in the changes to the spatial plan, which is also envisaged by the Spatial draft plan of Split-Dalmatia County. However, the tracks they offered were still under evaluation. We expect that this will take a full year and that a quality route will be decided. Until then, we will make amendments like this with integrated traffic,” Opara concluded, saying that the whole process has taken too long.

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