Austrian and Slovak officials met in Bratislava to discuss problems arising from the increasing amount of traffic between the neighbouring countries at a two-day seminar entitled "Transportation in the Vienna-Bratislava Region," November 2 and 3.
According to joint studies done by the two countries, the number of passengers travelling between Bratislava and Vienna in 2015 will be significantly higher than the number is now. Currently, some 11,000 cars cross the Slovak-Austrian border each day, while in 2015 it should increase to 33,000. Seminar participants therefore agreed that finding solutions for the transportation connection between the two capitals is becoming an increasingly urgent task.
One solution discussed at the seminar was the promotion of public transit. Today, approximately 800 people travel by train between Vienna and Bratislava daily, with another 800 people travelling by bus.
Friedrich Zibuschka, an official from regional government of Lower Austria, said that it would be ideal if the number of bus and train passengers travelling between the two countries doubled in the near future.
Vladimír Lunaček, of the Bratislava city council, presented a proposal for an integrated transport system whereby a train ticket to Vienna bought in Bratislava would be valid as a daily ticket for Vienna public transport and vice versa.
Lunaček argued that the system would make the train connection between the two cities more attractive. Austrian officials, however, have not shown interest in pursuing Lunaček's idea.
Participants in the seminar also concluded that significant attention should be given to road transport.
In the year 2000, Austria will start an environmental impact survey, and by 2005 wants to complete the construction of a highway connecting the border crossing Jarovce-Kittsee to the Austrian highway network.
Experts also discussed the possibility of linking the airports in Vienna and Bratislava.
One of the solutions presented was the creation of a fast train line between the two airports which would take only 30 minutes to cross. Lunaček said that such a solution was possible but technically and financially demanding.