Skip Uber, Go For ZTM in Warsaw

Although Uber is widely available in many foreign locations, a more pleasant

alternative would be to use ZTM or Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego in Warsaw, Poland. The system is safe, clean with a clear timetable, consistent pricing and a reliable schedule. Other cities should take note.

If you manage to ignore the peer pressure and almost a bully-like sales attitude of the Uber proponents, here is a bit more information on where and how to purchase the tickets and how to read them. To quickly summarize, you may board the tram or the bus without having a ticket on hand whereas getting access to the train station will require using the kiosk first as the turnstiles have tall doors and the entrance in limited to ticket-holders.

Once on the bus/tram, a machine is usually available at the front of the vehicle by the handicapped space and offers a few languages besides Polish, such as English, German, Russian or Ukranian. Cash is not accepted. Payment cannot be made to the driver directly. A QR code poster is usually displayed above for a phone app. Tickets purchased on the tram/bus do not need to be validated or stamped at the small yellow devices throughout.

Many stops will have a kiosk somewhere in the vicinity of the shelter. Tickets purchased that way will be printed on a thicker card stock paper with a black stripe on the back and the hologram line running across on the bottom versus the on the left (20 min) or right (75 min) handside for the tickets obtained on the vehicle. The ones from the kiosk will need to be validated (or stamped with the date and time it will expire along with a four digit number and a bus/tram/metro route) and will also have a serial number. There will be a total time allowed for use of the transit system - either 20 or 75 minutes, zone and the price paid data on the front. These are one time use. Unlimited use is allowed within that time frame. The actual ticket looks slightly different from the ones shown on the official website:

On the 75 min Bilet Jednorazowy, there is a transfer option included - Przesiadkowy. Zone map can be found via the following link: https://www.wtp.waw.pl/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/02/podmiejskie.png. According to the main website, these are not valid on "L".




Luggage and animals ride for free if there is space available. Reduced rates are for students under 26 years of age. Ticket verification is done by employees who hop into the car and pass through with a digital scanner that picks up the information from the QR code. Most cars are air conditioned without the A/C on full so it is much nicer than in NYC. There is less construction and rerouting and it is more clearly defined.

Below are some examples of how different the tickets purchased on the vehicle look. They are slightly larger in size. Information is both in Polish and in English. Serial numbers are from a different sequence but have the same number of digits 3-8. A receipt can be printed for the purchase which is helpful if you are getting multiple tickets at once, whether for yourself or others. It will be stamped with the date of purchase. Might be helpful to have on hand if the ticket is lost as well.

Date will be in the dd-mm-yyyy format and time in the military format.

It is time to update some of the ranking systems and give ZTM a higher score. Farandwide.com does not have it at all in the 2022 list and ceoworld.biz places it much below NYC with a lower attractiveness score which is very far from reality and feels like false advertising. Other sites focus only on the cities in the USA which is a shame as there is a lot to learn and a lot can be improved as the progress within the states seems to have come to a stop.

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