Sunday, August 19, 2012

New site about transport in the Balkans

BalkanViator is a new website that aims to make life easier for anyone travelling by public transport in the Balkans. As many travellers in the region are aware, details of bus routes in the region can be frustratingly difficult to pin down when planning a trip. Websites with bus timetables are often fragmentary and provide limited information (for example departure times but no arrival times, or routes listed by final destination with no indication of intermediate stops). The idea behind BalkanViator is to put an end to all this by making available in a single website the information about bus routes held by the Ministries of Transport of Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Bosnia - more than 20,000 routes in all.

I tried out the database by asking if there are direct buses on August 20th from Dubrovnik to Skopje, Ohrid to Blageovgrad, and Budva to Sarajevo. These are all routes people have asked me about in the past, and for which I have had trouble tracking down a definite answer. The answer turned out to be "yes" in all three cases. BalkanViator provided full timetables including intermediate stops, and the names of the bus companies operating the routes.

As well as the bus timetables the site has a carpooling section, and details of taxi companies in many Balkan cities. The site is available in six regional languages as well as English.

BalkanViator has the potential to be a very useful resource for travellers in Southeast Europe and I wish the team the best of luck with the website.