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Getting Around Upper Silesia

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Using public transport

In Katowice and in other cities of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union, there are mainly four means of public transport to choose from, namely: the bus, the tram, the trolleybus and the regional train. There are also other services offered by state-owned railways and private transportation companies.
 
In 1991 the communes of the urban agglomeration of Katowice established KZK GOP (Komunikacyjny Zwiazek Komunalny Gornoslaskiego Okregu Przemyslowego – the Transportation Commune Association of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region), which is responsible for the public transportation within the following communes and towns: Katowice, Bedzin, Bobrowniki, Bytom, Chorzow, Czeladz, Dabrowa Gornicza, Chelm Slaski, Gieraltowice, Gliwice, Imielin, Knurow, Myslowice, Psary, Radzionkow, Ruda Slaska, Siemianowice Slaskie, Siewierz, Slawkow, Sosnowiec, Swietochlowice, Wojkowice and Zabrze. The KZK GOP, covering almost the whole area of the Katowice agglomeration and some neighbouring communes (from Gliwice to Slawkow), is the major public transport carrier responsible for buses and trams
 
The KZK GOP is not the only carrier in the Upper Silesia. Other major ones include:

- MZK Tychy - responsible for BUSES and TROLLEYBUSES in Tychy and in other towns of the southern part of the agglomeration,
- MZKP Tarnowskie Gory – responsible for BUSES in the Tarnogorski county, Piekary Slaskie and Mierzecice (also KZK GOP tickets),
- PKM Jaworzno – BUSES in Jaworzno and connections to Katowice, Chrzanow and Sosnowiec (separate tickets different from the KZK GOP ones),
- ZKKM Chrzanow – responsible for BUS transportation within the communes (gminy) Chrzanow, Libiaz and Trzebinia, covering almost the whole Chrzanow powiat, except for Alwernia and Babice,
- ZKG ''KM'' Olkusz – responsible for BUS transportation within the western part of the Olkusz powiat (Olkusz, Bukowno, Boleslaw commune, Klucze) and Slawkow,
- PKSiS Oswiecim – responsible for bus routes connecting Tychy to Berun-Ledziny county and Oswiecim (lines 5XX and 1,2,3) and 
MZK Jastrzebie Zdroj – BUS major public transport provider in the Rybnik Coal Region, also provides services in Czerwionka-Leszczyny, Orzesze and Szczyglowice. Jastrzebie Zdroj, Czerwionka-Leszczyny, Radlin, Zory, Pszow, Mszana, Pawlowice, Marklowice, Rydultowy, Suszec, Swierklany, Wodzislaw Slaski. There is also ZTZ Rybnik in the Rybnik county and neighbouring communes.

Thus, if travelling within the cities outside the KZK GOP operating area, make sure to buy a PROPER ticket, issued by the local transportation services provider.

NOTE: Before embarking on a tram, bus or trolleybus check on the vehicle door WHICH ticket is VALID.

   By tram
The network of Silesian Interurban Trams is one of the largest and the oldest in the world. Spreading along 50 kilometres, the system connects as many as thirteen towns of Upper Silesia. These are as follows: Katowice, Bedzin, Bytom, Chorzow, Czeladz, Dabrowa Gornicza, Gliwice, Myslowice, Ruda Slaska, Siemianowice Slaskie, Sosnowiec, Swietochlowice and Zabrze.
The total length of the tram network system is 207 kilometres, with the shortest route (Route 38) equal to 1.34 km and the longest one (Route 21) – almost 22.5 km in length.
Though the rolling stock is quite old and so is the whole infrastructure, the Silesian trams are an important means of transport in the populated area of Upper Silesia. Most of them, though slow, reach the centres of towns, can get to the parts of the towns closed for road traffic and avoid"th·Otraffic jams.
Of all the tram routes+ 3 in total, some go along the scenic rural and industrial areas, offering enjoyable trips with unique views to the passengers. The ones worth recommending include the following routes: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, 26, 27 and 38 (which is operated by historic trams with wooden seats and hand-operated slide doors).
For details on the routes and timetables see:
http://www.kzkgop.com.pl/rozklady/index.php?show=trasy&trasy=tram

   By trolleybus
 
The only city in Silesia where one can travel by trolleybus is TYCHY. It is operated by Tyskie Linie Towlejbusowe (The Trolleybuses of Tychy). Currently, there are as many as 24 trolleybuses running along the 40-km-long network. The routes, marked A, B, C, D and E, cover major areas of Tychy connecting the main railway station of Tychy with the city's housing estates, the Paprocanskie Lake recreational area and the industrial area in the Tychy sub-zone of the Katowice Special Economic Zone.
 
Tickets
Since 1999 the same types of tickets, issued by KZK GOP, are used on BUSES and TRAMS in the agglomeration of Katowice for the transport services provided by KZK GOP.
There are FULL fare and REDUCED fare tickets.

A single-ticket is valid for a SINGLE ride on the tram or bus on which the ticket was validated. Thus, if changing for another tram or bus, another ticket is required.

The fares are the same for buses and trams. Namely, if travelling by bus/tram within ONE commune, a single-ticket costs PLN 2.40. For two neighbouring communes, the price of the ticket is PLN 2.90. If one travels via three or more communes, the fare is PLN 3.50.

If you are staying in the Upper Silesia from July 1st till September 30th, there is a special offer on the PLN 3.50 tickets. They are valid both for travelling within three or more cities (communes) and for travelling for ONE HOUR since the ticket was validated with the changing possibility.
If one is planning to stay for longer, it is a good idea to purchase bus, tram or bus-tram tickets valid for a month or a quarter. There are also holiday tickets (WSC) valid for the holiday period (July-August) which can be used on all tram and bus routes within two or more communes. The price is PLN 160 (full fare) / PLN 80.00 (reduced).
There are also bus-tram holder tickets valid for a day (PLN 12.00/PLN 6.00), two days (PLN 18.00/PLN 9.00), five days (PLN 30.00/PLN 15.00), seven days (PLN 34.00/PLN 17.00), fourteen days (PLN 56.00) or a month (PLN 108.00).

   By car
While using a private car or one hired from one of the car rentals, always drive carefully and beware of potholes. If possible, avoid the peak-hour traffic (i.e. between 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m).
Drive carefully and follow the traffic regulations. The speed limit in the built-up area is 50 km/h between 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. and 60 km/h between 11 p.m. – 5 a.m., whereas on the motorway you may drive at a maximum speed of 130 km/hour,
NOTE: Starting from April 17, 2007 all drivers must drive with their dimmed headlights night and day throughout the year!
There are a lot of car rentals in Katowice and major Upper Silesian cities where one can hire a car to sightsee the region. As many as 11 have their representative offices on the premises of the Katowice International Airport (in the Passenger Terminal).
For details on the car rentals, regulations and fees see the website of the Katowice International Airport.

   By bike
If interested in sightseeing Upper Silesia by bike, one can choose from several cycle routes. Some of them go along streets of Katowice, passing by tourist attractions, whereas the others connect Katowice to other cities of the region.
For details on the Katowice cycle paths see: http://www.um.katowice.pl/en/cycle.php

   By boat
It is also possible to use water transport in Upper Silesia. The major canal is the Gliwice Canal which connects Gliwice to Kedzierzyn Kozle (Opolskie voivodship). It is a link between the Gliwice Harbour and the Oder River.

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