Kraków’s public transport body MPK and Straż Miejska (the city guard) have joined forces to ensure security on the city’s new night tram routes, with a zero tolerance crackdown on drunken behaviour, illicit smoking and violence.
Operation Safe Return is one of several security measures designed to ensure passengers a trouble-free journey home late at night, on the new services that began running almost a month ago. Plain clothes MPK representatives board the trams to watch for unruly or illegal behaviour – and have immediate back-up in case of trouble, as Straż Miejska patrols also tail the trams. And the operation worked right from day one, as a range of offences were recorded and the culprits caught red-handed.
Among the most common were smoking at tram stops and on trams, drinking alcohol on the streets, and creating a public disturbance. There’s no escape for fare dodgers either – as inspectors caught 84 people travelling without tickets in just one night.
But Operation Safe Return is as much about protecting the public as catching offenders. Straż Miejska officers have found passengers a little worse for wear after their night out, fast asleep at tram stops. In these cases, they have been able to give advice and assistance to help passengers get home.
Timetables for Kraków’s public transport network, day and night, are available in English on the MPK website.