Web comic shakes up city authorities

A web comic criticising Krakow’s public transport authorities has grabbed the attention of the Zarząd Infrastruktury Komunalnej i Transportu w Krakowie (Krakow Department for Infrastructure and Communications). Twenty-three-year-old AGH student Rafał Terkalskim published his web page last week, and was almost immediately invited to talk to city representatives.

Terkalskim’s page features photographs of trams and buses taken during the evening rush hour showing some greatly over-crowded, while others are empty. They are annotated with quotes from recently re-elected city president Jacek Majchrowski including the claim: “We have the best public transport in Poland.”

“Are you sure? When was the last time you travelled by public transport in our city?” retorts Terkalskim. The last page of the website is a petition that can be electronically signed by visitors. The first paragraph states: “frequent statements to the press spin a vision of Krakow’s public transport as a paradise on earth… These statements do not reflect the reality that we see daily on the streets of Krakow.”

City representatives met with Terkalskim Tuesday. “Some of the suggestions presented in the comics are worth considering,” said ZIKiT spokesperson Piotr Hamarnik. City vice president Wiesław Starowicz was less conciliatory, calling the website “demagoguery.”

Rafał Terkalskim also achieved Internet notoriety two years ago by posting videos to YouTube of passengers struggling to board overcrowded night buses. Visit his website here: http://www.komunikacja-krakow.pl/

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