"The municipality has commissioned a navigability study, which includes checking the Drava river for the suitability for public passenger transport," the municipality said.
According to Deputy Mayor Samo Peter Medved, the study will be used as input for a new state decree on the navigability of the Drava river. The city wants to use a wider range of vessels and sailing at higher speeds than currently allowed.
"Our goal is to establish a system of public passenger transport on the river quickly. We have authorized the Maribor Development Agency to lead this project and they are doing well. We have already held a meeting with all municipalities and other entities utilising the Drava river, who were very happy with this initiative," said the deputy mayor.
The establishment of landing sites along the river is planned as part of the project of the establishment of the Drava promenade, which is already being implemented. For the time being, only a walking path has been built along the river, and the only vessels sailing along it are rafts and privately owned boats dedicated to catering and tourism.
With the recent renovation of the main square, the city has lost an important transport connection through the centre. By boat, for example, it would be possible to get from the Maribor central market on the left bank of the river to the hospital and the Europark shopping centre on the right bank in just a few minutes, avoiding heavy road traffic.
A new footbridge across the Drava standing near the Old Bridge in the city centre is to be built soon as well. The plans for construction were already in place when Maribor was the European Capital of Culture in 2012, but was then abandoned.
"We have obtained a valid building permit for the footbridge. We will shortly announce the tender for the selection of the contractor and the footbridge is expected to be under construction next year," announced Deputy Mayor Medved.