The public transport in Tricity is well developed and convenient. However, travelling through Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia presents some challenges that even the locals and Polish tourists find confusing. This article will address some of those challenges.
When it comes to buses, trams and trolleys, in the area of Tricity two main transport companies are operating: ZTM Gdańsk (Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego w Gdańsku) and ZKM Gdynia (Zarząd Komunikacji Miejskiej w Gdyni). Because of that, two types of single tickets and city cards are issued. ZTM Gdańsk issues one of them, and ZKM Gdynia the other one.
In the area of Sopot buses and trolleys of both entities are running. Therefore, when taking a bus or trolley in Sopot you have to be careful which one you enter. The red and white buses belong to ZTM Gdańsk, but the blue and white trolleys and buses to ZKM Gdynia. So if you have a Gdańsk single ticket or city card you can take a Gdańsk bus in Sopot. The same rule applies for ZKM Gdynia tickets: in Sopot you may use a Gdynia bus line only. Getting on a wrong bus can mean problems even though you have a valid ticket in the same price. You may get a fine for using the ticket of the wrong operator.
Types of tickets
Both public transport companies offer single paper tickets and long-term tickets in the form of city cards.
You may choose to buy a single ticket for just one ride or an hour ticket. The latter one allows you to change the bus, tram or trolley within an hour after validating. The price of a normal single ticket is 3,20 PLN and the hour ticket 3,80 PLN. Of course there are discounts available for students and pensioners. However you need a Polish document that entitles you to such a discount to benefit from it. That is, if you are a student under 26 years of age, you need a student card issued by one of the local universities. If you are a pensioner you need to be in the age of 60 and above as a woman and 65 and above as a man and have a Polish identity card. When you belong to any of these age groups the prices of tickets drop 50%.
Remember to always validate your paper ticket as soon as you enter the bus, tram or trolley. If you forget about that the ticket inspector will not overlook this mistake.
For more information on prices and types of single tickets click the following links:
City cards are small plastic cards issued so you could upload a long-term ticket on it. There are 30-day tickets or 4-month tickets, 5-months tickets, etc. Having a city card is not only convenient, as you don’t have to validate the card each time you enter a means of transport, but it’s also cheaper on the long run when you have to use the public transport everyday. Another advantage of having such a card is that it allows you to buy the so called municipal ticket. It expands the means of transport by the SKM train lines. There are two types of city cards: a personal one, having you name on it (this one has the option of uploading the municipal ticket) and a ticket to the bearer card (having no personal details).
You can order such a card online on ZTM Gdańsk website. Alternatively, you can obtain it in one of the many ZTM branches in Gdańsk. ZKM Gdynia offers the same options.
For more information on city cards click the following links:
Where to buy tickets
Thoughout Gdańsk many ticket machines are located, usually at tram stops or bus stops. You can also buy the tickets at the ZTM offices and on train stations. Some of you probably enjoy buying them online or usuing apps like Skycash or JakDojade.pl. There’s always a possibility to buy the ticket on the bus or tram at the driver’s. However in such a case, have the correct amount of money and change as the bus drivers focus mainly on driving. They may not have enough change if you pay with a high banknote.
In Gdynia you can buy the tickets on train stations and in the newsagents’ and, of course, in ZKM offices. When you buy the tickets on the bus or trolley, be ready to buy the so called packet of tickets. This is a packet of 5 half price or normal price tickets, which means you need to have more than 3,20 PLN on you. Keep in mind that when you get a packet of half price tickets and you travel for a normal price, you should validate two half price tickets so the fare would be 3,20 PLN. You may use Skycash and JakDojade.pl on Gdynia public transport, too.
SKM and PKM trains
SKM (Szybka Kolej Miejska) is a fast urban train that can take you along the coast from Gdańsk as far as to Wejherowo. If you live near the railway this may be your best way to commute to work or school. The SKM offers single tickets, which you can buy at ticket offices on the train stations and in ticket machines. Remember that you need to validate the single ticket from the ticket office before you enter the train. You will find the ticket validators in the tunnels or on the platforms.
The single tickets obtained from the ticket machines don’t have to be validated, but once you get such a ticket you should travel by the closest train. The ticket won’t be valid for the next later train. There’s also a possibility to buy the ticket from the railway conductor. In such a case however, be ready to pay an additional 2,80 PLN fee (unless there was no ticket machine or opened ticket office at the station). You should also enter the first railway wagon of the train. If the ticket inspector finds you without the ticket on the train not waiting in line at the first wagon, you will get fined. So keep that in mind.
There are also long-term tickets available for the SKM trains and you can choose between which stations you are going to commute. For example, you can have a monthly ticket covering the distance between Gdańsk Główny and Gdańsk Przymorze stations, etc. You may obtain the necessary information on one of the SKM train stations or at SKM website.
PKM (Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna) is a municipal train that trevels from Gdynia Główna through Gdynia Stadion, Gdynia Karwiny, Gdańsk Osowa either to the airport in Gdańsk and then to the center of Gdańsk or to Kartuzy. This railway is especially comfortable for those of you living in the areas of Gdańsk Strzyża, Niedźwiednik and Matarnia. You can buy tickets at the main train stations, in the ticket machines in Gdansk and also on the train from the railway conductor. You can find more information at the Gdańsk main train station and Gdynia main train station as well as at PKM website.
Some of you expats may live in one city but work in the other. If using the SKM is not enough to get to work, obtaining a municipal ticket may be the best and the cheapest solution. A municipal ticket allows you to use both the ZTM Gdańsk and ZKM Gdynia lines as well as the SKM trains. To have such a ticket you need a personal city card issued either by ZTM Gdańsk or ZKM Gdynia.
To buy the ticket first you need to go to one of the transport companies’ offices and upload the municipal ticket on your city card. Then with both the receipt and your card you go to the nearest train station with a ticket office and ask for printing out the ticket for the SKM, which you have to sign with your name and always carry together with your city card for the need of inspection of tickets.
For more information click here (website in Polish).
Things to keep in mind
You already know that when you’re in Sopot you have to be carefull which bus to take. There are a few more things to remember:
- both in Gdańsk and Gdynia are night lines (marked with capital N and followed by a number). Prices of tickets are in this case higher than for the regular lines. So remember to buy a special ticket for this line or make sure that your city card covers the fares for such a line
- in Gdynia there are rapid bus lines (marked with capital letters, for example: R, S, Z, W, X) for which the prices of tickets are higher than for the regular lines. So again, make sure to buy a special ticket for such a line or check if your city card covers the fares for a rapid line
- zones covered by city cards – you may choose to upload your city card for the zone of either Gdynia or Gdańsk, however you may expand your city card for the zone of Sopot. Yet, if you feel that the zone of one city is enough for you, when getting near Sopot check which is the border bus stop for your zone. After crossing it, you should either get off the bus or buy a single ticket, otherwise you’ll be fined by the ticket inspector
- lines that take you from Gdańsk to Gdynia (like: 171) honor the city cards for zones Gdańsk and Gdynia as well as single tickets of both ZTM Gdańsk and ZKM Gdynia
There’s an expression “city jungle”. We hope that this article has helped you to find your way through the Tricity jungle. So, enjoy your travel!