Transport operator educates passengers

 Krakow’s transit operator is educating passengers in opening bus doors by themselves. On August 1, a fleet of air-conditioned buses took to Krakow’s streets. The vehicles do not open their doors at each bus stop, however, to maintain their temperature and preserve energy. But special buttons on the outside of the buses near the doors can be pressed by passengers wishing to hop onboard. Many people are unaware of the new system, however. They stand waiting for the driver to open the doors, as used to happen.The problem is that only six buses out of the hundreds that the city runs are air-conditioned now. And the air-conditioning on those six hasn’t been turned on because of cost. So passengers are dying of the heat because bus doors are closed much longer than before ? and the only ventilation is from windows.  MPK officials said they apologize to passengers for the inconvenience. They said the new system will keep buses cooler when air-conditioning is standard ? because doors will be open only when passengers want them to be.But for now passengers are broiling even more than they were under the old system. With doors closed more than in the past, most of the fresh air available is from windows.”Sometimes I feel like I’m going to faint,” said a passenger catching her breath after leaving a crowded bus on a sunny, hot afternoon. “I can’t imagine older people or children bearing it,” she said. MPK said another reason for the new system will be to keep heat in the buses when winter arrives.Krakow bought the six buses that have air-conditioning from Spain because they were offered at an attractive price. But passengers say the air-conditioning is never turned on. The reason why the air-conditioning has been off is to save money. Air-conditioned vehicles use more fuel.But an avalanche of passenger complaints has prompted MPK to consider using the air-conditioning.Whether that happens by the end of this summer remains to be seen.

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