Development of ZET’s bus transit system
Organized bus public transit system in Zagreb, called Autobus-promet (Bus-traffic) started on the 11th of August 1927. In that time, tree Lancia buses with the capacity of 30 passengers took only two routes, Akademski square-Savska bathing areas and Akademski square-Podsused-Samobor. From the time when first buses were released until the 20th of July 1928 there were 8 standard routes in the city. ZET’s administration took over the city public transit system in 1931 which was in possession of Barešić & Co. Rolling stock consisted of 20 buses which continued to operate on 6 day lines and 2 night lines. The routes were 9.6 km long. Bus storage and workshop were in place an old storage next to Savska Street. The situation in bus transit system improved drastically in the beginning of 1940 when buses were introduced as tram line extensions with the joint tariff system and bargain prices. The same year the number of passengers increased on 1,500.000.
In the course of years different vehicles were bought for the needs of public transport, and in the period between 1945 and 1952 rolling stock consisted of different bus brands and types which were mostly used ones, so that there was 21 bus and 13 different brands and models. Since there was no domestic bus manufacturing, ZET had to buy used double-deckers form England.
Since the 15th of February 1960, 8 buses with trailers, so called parking lot trams, operated regularly. With the arrival of articulated buses, trailers lost their importance and they were written off in 1968 when the first shipment of 33 buses MAN 750 arrived, which far exceeded the number of all other vehicles ZET had in its rolling stock.
Types in the rolling stock
In the beginning of the 70s ZET established 50 routes which were 500 km long. With the construction of bus storage in Dubrava in 1962, bus workshop in Vurovčica in 1964 and bus storage in Podsused in 1971, all the foundations for the development and quality of bus transit system were laid. The decision to take MAN vehicles as the basic vehicles solved the problem with the rolling stock and helped further development. In that time Zagreb expanded and the districts Sesvete, Zaprešić, Velika Gorica and Samobor annexed to Zagreb. Therefore, there was a need for organized public transit system in these areas. In the year 1977 ZET took over “Saobraćaj” from Velika Gorica with 30 buses, and in 1983 took over “Samobortrans” which had 46 buses and around 30 trucks and trailers and bus terminal in Samobor. On the July 1998 the branch in Samobor was shut down and all the workers were put to work in other branches.
In the 80s, 192 articulated and solo Ikarus (Zemun) brand buses were obtained thanks to their reasonable price, and they dominated in ZET’s rolling stock. In 1988 a new and well-founded decision was made: ZET stopped buying Ikarus and once again started buying MAN buses. Till 1990, 30 MAN buses were bought. The same year ZET bought 20 solo buses of TAM brand which were manufactured for the first time in Aviomontaža in Ljubljana. Thanks to their looks and functionality they were modern Eurpoean buses. ABS system, which prevents the wheels from locking while breaking, became standard equipment.
In the following war years there was no significant renewal of the rolling stock. In order to maintain supply and deduct expenses, ZET started buying used MAN vehicles from Germany.
At the end of the year 1993 the decision to buy low-floor vehicles was made. First low-floor MAN vehicles arrived in ZET by the end of 1994.
Acquiring low-floor buses continued in 1995. After making a thorough analysis, the decision to make ZET’s rolling stock out of 2 brand vehicles, MAN’s and Mercedes’, was made. The first articulated buses of the Mercedes brand came to Zagreb at the end of 1995.
Today ZET buys exclusively new Mercedes vehicles which are placed in Dubrava storage, and MAN vehicles which are placed in Podsused storage. Buying mostly low-floor vehicles enables all types of users to take public transport. In the next couple of years there are plans to buy 190 low-floor, solo and articulated, buses. In order to reduce air pollution, ZET included biodiesel in 2007, and starting from 2008 plans to introduce compressed gas. If the development plans come through, our buses will exclusively use biofuels in couple of years, which is a great contribution to pollution reduction and elimination of harmful substances produced by fossil fuels. In the same time, modern, low-floor, air-conditioned vehicles are going to influence quality standards in public transport.