Citizens: Railway Station is key investment

According to a survey conducted by TNS OBOP and commissioned by Neinver and Polish State Railways S.A., 61% of Katowice residents deem the Railway Station’s reconstruction the crucial issue in the city’s development.

Other significant matters, ranked behind the winner, are new job places, improving road conditions, as well as civil security. The residents also underscore the need for more recreational venues and green areas within the city. The survey carried out by TNS OBOP featured 800 adult inhabitants of Katowice.

The respondents were asked about their vision of a modern city. According to them, a modern city should stand out through good transportation system, new investments and a wide range of educational opportunities, enabling people to develop their professional careers. The city’s education facilities are already regarded favorably, yet attention is drawn to other areas which require further initiatives, including tourist and economic appeal, as well as cooperation with various foreign cities.

Neinver Polska and Polish State Railways SA, the companies responsible for the Railway Station’s reconstruction, emphasize that they look upon the investment in Katowice as a priority. The venture assumes reconstructing the main Station hall, as well as building Galeria Katowicka, an underground bus terminal and new underground Dworcowa Street, located directly beneath the Station hall. A free-standing office building will also be constructed as part of the project. “This undertaking is about to change Katowice” – says Michał Wrzosek, spokesman for Polish State Railways S.A. “This is the first investment in our country, which combines transportation and retail/office functions so tightly. Our project will give Katowice a building which could be envied by other European cities” – he concludes. The investment is scheduled to start this summer. Its value amounts to approx. EUR 240 million.

The project also assumes creating so-called new Szewczyka Square, which will become a natural extension of Stawowa Street, leading directly to the main entrance and the passenger service hall. “An underground bus terminal will be located right under the Station hall. Such a solution should be extremely convenient to travelers who won’t need to go out of the building in order to leave the main hall. They will be able to head towards a bus stop straight from the PKP Station.”

The investment encompasses the reconstruction of the transportation system in the City Center. A tunnel (new Dworcowa Street) for passenger cars will emerge next to the underground bus station. As part of the modernization works, the junction of Mikołowska, Matejki, Słowackiego and Sądowa Streets, to the Station’s west, and the crossroads of Pocztowa, św. Jana and Dworcowa, to the east, will also be reconstructed.

The reconstruction of the Station hall, transport infrastructure and the construction of Galeria Katowicka are to be finished in 2012. The office building is planned to be delivered in 2013. Roughly 2 000 people will find employment at the construction site.

Except for the Station, the residents of Katowice also point to other fields which the City should take care of. One of them is providing new job places; 36% of respondents opted for this answer. Other responses included the necessity to improve road infrastructure (33%), safety (25%) and better public transportation (23%).

The survey was conducted by TNS OBOP in April 2010, on a representative sample of 800 adult residents of Katowice (telephone interviews).