Visiting a capital city, even a small one like Ljubljana, can sometimes feel exhausting and complicated because of all the physical effort it takes, especially for older and disabled people. However, you will soon find out that the capital of Slovenia has created the best system in order to make the city accessible for everyone, from elderly locals to families of tourists.
The Kavalir fleet, a horde of small green electric cars that you can see as “gentle helpers,” is an entirely free public transportation that can drive you all over the pedestrian city center of Ljubljana. This slow Kavalir will offer you a comfortable and noiseless ride through the beautiful streets of the capital.
Let’s find out more about this ecological and helpful innovation that pleases every tourist and local that has ever tried it. It will also allow you to learn more about the city’s main development aims, that focus on being sustainable and gentle to the environment, but also accessible for older and disabled people, and generally to offer the best quality of life.
The Kavalir Fleet and their Journey
The gentle Kavalirs are designed to make your visits and your travels to the city center as pleasant and comfortable as possible. They are meant to be used by everyone, and the drivers will be more than happy to help you, so do not hesitate to try this fantastic experience. Here is all you need to know in order to use these love electric cars.
Goals and Origins of the Project
First, it is interesting to know how this idea has emerged and why it was successfully implemented, whereas most cities over the world have no paralleled dispositive. There were both a necessity and possibility that were born from the creation of this service at the time when the entry in the historical and city center of Ljubljana was forbidden to motor vehicles.
It created an accessibility problem for the people, both locals, and tourists, who cannot walk for extended distances. On the other hand, it allowed the presence of slow electric vehicles that could transport them wherever they need in the pedestrian zone, which covers the city’s main attractions and a large variety of shops for their daily needs.
The choice of electric vehicles was an obvious choice for the city of Ljubljana that wants to offer quiet and pleasant rides and focuses on its ecological duty. The municipality wishes to do everything possible for the environment.
However, the significant upside of the Kavalir electric cars is its aim of making the city accessible to everyone. Families and adults can also benefit from it, but it is really a life changer for the elderly and every person with any type of disability.
This entirely free and inclusive service has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of Ljubljana’s bus company, LPP, the city’s tourist board, Ljubljana Tourism, and the Municipality of Ljubljana. This progress could not have been done if all of the major actors in town did not have such dedication to environmentally friendly and fair public transportation.
Since the launch of the Kavalir system in 2009, we have noticed that one Kavlair can transport around 300 passengers every day. Between 2009 and 2017, the brave cavaliers have been driving around about one million and two hundred thousand people, making them a great success.
Functioning and Routes
In order to benefit from the Kavalirs, you do not have to run after the electric cars to get picked up. A simple and effective system was put in place for you: you can either call for a free ride at the door of your hotel, for example, or easily cross their way in the pedestrian zone.
If you make a sign, they will be able to stop without any problem since they drive slow enough: the cute little cars cannot go faster than 25 kilometers per hour. It makes the ride pleasant and allows you to benefit from incredible views on the Ljubljanica and the many attractions in town.
If no one uses them, the Cavaliers follow two regular routes. The first line goes all the way from Čop Street to Hribar Embankment and passes by Wolf Street, while the second line links Ljubljana’s major squares: Town Square, Upper Square, and Old Square.
Even if they usually have to drive only inside the pedestrian area limits, an additional service is offered to the elderly and disabled people who want to use them to go up to Žale Central Cemetery. Free rental is also always possible if you are going at a funeral, or need to rent one of the cars during the All Saints week, at the beginning of November.
Overall, this system is perfect if you are there to visit Ljubljana’s beautiful city, as it is also mostly designed for you. The Kavalirs link all the best attractions, and the friendly drivers will kindly take some time to talk with you and learn you more about the many wonders of the capital.
This system remains quite unique in its kind even in the whole world: many cities and especially capitals that benefit from a large pedestrian zone should also adopt this service that makes the users’ lives easier.
Operating Hours throughout the Year
There are four vehicles in the current Kavalir fleet: two of them are open-sided, made for Summer and warmer weather, and the two others are glazed and heated during Wintertime. The Summer Cavaliers are circulating every year from April 1st to October 31st, for your greatest pleasure. Each Kavalier can carry up to five passengers.
You can call or hail a Kavalir every day of the week, without any interruption from 6 in the morning to 10 in the evening.
Ljubljana, The 2016 European Green Capital
The implementation of such an environmentally friendly measure makes no surprise for a certified European Green Capital in 2016 AND that is the most important city of Slovenia, which was also named Green Country in the same year. By visiting this country and its capital, you will notice impressive ecological performances, with remarkable air sustainability and quality, among other factors.
Indeed, the best example of the green policies implemented in Slovenia is undoubtedly the choice of making Ljubljana’s city center an eco and pedestrian zone. There are many thoughts put into it, with the creation of Kavalir but also the successful Bicike(LJ) that is a public system of shared bikes and many other means of transports that also includes a modern fleet of buses.
A City For the Elderly
The City of Ljubljana is also taking many measures dedicated to the inclusion of the elderly, notably through the establishment of policies that follow previous good practices and are based on an active dialogue with the older people involved. The city has indeed funded a consulting body in charge of this kind of policy, the Council for Senior Citizen-Related Issues in the City of Ljubljana.
They highlight the specific needs of older people in Ljubljana and allow the municipality to adopt different plans and programs such as “Age-Friendly Ljubljana” that is implemented since 2013 and up to 2020 for now.
The main advancements permitted by this council are notably the famous and useful Cavaliers, but also the proposal of computer literacy lessons designed especially for the elderly in Ljubljana, and the creation of the DACs, which are daily centers of activities for older people.
A Disabled Friendly City
As we explained it briefly before, the Kavalirs are particularly suitable for people with disabilities since the two closed vehicles dispose of specificities made to facilitate the entry and exit of the wheelchairs. Indeed, they have sliding doors and a low entry platform that was specially designed for this purpose.
The Kavalir system joins the long list of accessible public transportation services implemented in Ljubljana, such as a funicular to the caste. There is also a fleet of buses that integrates audio and video systems of announcement, and even a small train with wagons for tourists that links the historical center to the Cyril and Methodius Square.
All of these measures contributed to the awarding of Ljubljana with two European Mobility Week Awards that were handed out by the European Commission in 2003 and 2013. The efforts made by the city were also celebrated by a Bronze Access City Award in 2015 and a Silver Access City Award in 2018.
If you want to learn more about accessible Slovenia and especially Ljubljana that has implemented many mechanisms, I recommend you to follow that link for a dedicated article.
Hop on a Kavalir Ride Today!
In a nutshell, you are now aware of the various programs and actions that are taken by the City of Ljubljana in order to improve the lives of its inhabitants and the experiences of the many tourists. Kavalir is one of the most unique and surprising highlights of the town, so you definitely have to try it even if it means that you will miss it once back home!
Remember that they are available daily from 6 am to 10 pm and that you can call to book them at these telephone orders :
+386 (0) 31 666 331
+386 (0) 31 666 332
Have a tremendous noiseless, and comfortable trip with Kavalir!
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