Transport in Slovenia

The location at the junction of the Mediterranean, the Alps, the Dinarides and the Pannonian Plain and the area being traversed by major rivers have been the reasons for the intersection of the main transport routes in Slovenia. Their course was established already in Antiquity. A particular geographic advantage in recent times has been the location of the intersection of the Pan-European transport corridors V (the fastest link between the North Adriatic, and Central and Eastern Europe) and X (linking Central Europe with the Balkans) in the country. This gives it a special position in the European social, economic and cultural integration and restructuring.[1]


Main article: Slovenian Railways

The existing Slovenian rails, which were mostly built in the 19th century, are out-of-date and can't compete with the motorway network.[2] The maintenance and modernisation of the Slovenian railway network has been neglected due to the lack of financial assets, creating bottlenecks.[3] Nevertheless, it has been gaining momentum with the completion of the motorway cross.[2] The Slovenian Railways company operates 1,229 km (764 mi) of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge tracks, 331 km (206 mi) as double track, and reaches all regions of the country.[4] The network comprises main lines and regional lines.[3] Electrification is provided by a 3 kV DC system, except at the junctions with railways of foreign countries,[3] and covers 503.5 kilometres (312.9 mi).[5] Due to the out-of-date infrastructure, the share of the railway freight transport has been in decline in Slovenia despite growing slightly in absolute terms.[6] The railway passenger transport has been recovering after a large drop in the 1990s.[7] The Pan-European railway corridors V and X, and several E-railways (E65, E67, E69, and E70) intersect in Slovenia.[3] All international transit trains in Slovenia drive through the Ljubljana Railway Hub, and all international passenger trains stop there.[8]


With the share of over 80%, the road freight and passenger transport constitutes the largest part of transport in Slovenia.[9] Personal cars are much more popular than public road passenger transport, which has significantly declined.[9][10] Motorways and expressways, operated by the Motorway Company in the Republic of Slovenia, are the state roads of the highest category.[11] On motorways and express ways, cars must have a toll sticker.[12] Slovenia has a very high motorway density compared to the European Union average.[12] The first highway in Slovenia, the A1 motorway connecting Vrhnika and Postojna, was opened in 1972,[13] but the construction was really speed up in 1994, when the National Assembly enacted the first National Motorway Construction Programme.[14] Till February 2012, a network consisting of 528 km (328 mi) of motorways, expressways and similar roads has been built.[13] Its essential section,[14] the Slovenian Motorway Cross, which is part of the Trans-European Road network, was completed in October 2011.[15] It comprises the motorway route heading from east to west, in line with the Pan-European Corridor V, and the motorway route heading in the north–south direction, in line with the Pan-European Corridor X,[14] part of which is considered the Slovenian transport backbone.[12] The newly built road system slowly, but steadily transforms Slovenia into a large conurbation and connects it as a unitary social, economic and cultural space, with links to neighbouring areas.[16] In contrast, other state roads, managed by the Slovenian Infrastructure Agency (until January 2015 named Slovenian Roads Agency), have been rapidly deteriorating due to neglection and the overall increase in traffic.[12] About half of them are in a bad condition.[17] The urban and suburban network served by buses is relatively dense.[12]


Main article: Highways in Slovenia

The first highway in Slovenia, the A1, was opened in 1972. It connects Vrhnika and Postojna. Constructed under the liberal minded government of Stane Kavčič their development plan envisioned a modern highway network spanning Slovenia and connecting the republic to Italy and Austria. After the liberal fraction of the Communist Party of Slovenia was deposed, expansion of the Slovenian highway network came to a halt. In the 1990s the new country started the 'National Programme of Highway Construction', effectively re-using the old communist plans. Since then about 400 km of motorways, expressways and similar roads have been completed, easing automotive transport across the country and providing a strong road service between eastern and western Europe. This has provided a boost to the national economy, encouraging the development of transportation and export industries.

There are two types of highways in Slovenia. Avtocesta (abbr. AC) are dual carriage way motorways with a speed limit of 130 km/h. They have green road signs as in Italy, Croatia and other countries. A hitra cesta (HC) is a secondary road also a dual carriageway but without a hard shoulder for emergencies. They have a speed limit of 110 km/h and have blue road signs.

Since 1 June 2008 highway users in Slovenia have been required to buy a toll sticker (Slovene: vinjeta). This system was investigated by the EU Commission that it was unfair upon holiday makers and other non Slovenian users of the highway system. On 28 January 2010, after short-term stickers were introduced by Slovenia and some other changes were made to the Slovenian toll sticker system, the European Commission concluded that the toll sticker system is in accordance with European law.[18]

According to the Slovenian Motorway Company Act valid since December 2010, the construction and building of highways in Slovenia is carried out and financed by private companies, primarily the Motorway Company in the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: Družba za avtoceste v Republiki Sloveniji, acronym DARS), while the strategic planning and the acquisition of land for their course is carried out and financed by the Government of Slovenia.[19][20] The highways are owned by DARS.[21]

Bus transport

The beginnings of the bus transport in Slovenia date back to the early 20th century, when Slovenia was part of Austria-Hungary. The first two bus routes, between Gorizia and Postojna and between Idrija and Logatec, were opened in 1912, with additional four opened before World War I. The length of bus lines was 295 km (183 mi). The transport was primarily organised by the Post Directorate of Austria. After the war, the transport was organised by the Post Directorate of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, gradually joined by private operators. The buses, primarily manufactured by Saurer, Benz, and Daimler, were small and could accept six to ten passengers. The total length of bus lines at the end of the mid-war period was 2,893 km (1,798 mi).[22][23]

After the end of World War II the bus traffic drastically developed. In 1946 the state ministry of local transport in the People's Republic of Slovenia established the National Bus and Transport Company of Slovenia (Državno avtobusno in prevozniško podjetje Slovenije, DAPPS). In 1948 the company was reorganised to another company named Slovenija avtopromet (SAP) with branches across the country, some of which were later transformed to independent local bus operators.[24] The bus transport gradually replaced the railway transport and became the predominant means of public transport in the 1960s. The bus lines reached over 20,000 km (12,000 mi) (1 km/km2), with 26 million passengers altogether.[23]

Today the bus traffic is the main means of public passenger transport in Slovenia, particularly in towns. The main bus stations are in Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, and Kranj. The bus transport and the public transport in general have steeply declined in Slovenia in the 1990s, particularly in the western part of the country. They are used mainly by people who don't have other choice. Most people travel with their own car.[25]


crude oil 5 km; natural gas 840 km (2010)

Ports and harbours

There are three ports on the Slovenian coast. The traffic is mostly international.[26][27] The major is the Port of Koper, built in 1957.[28] It is a feeder port.[28] It is about 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) closer to destinations east of the Suez than the ports of Northern Europe, and the land transport from Koper by road and by railway to the main industrial centres in Central Europe is approximately 500 kilometres (310 mi) shorter than from Northern European ports.[29] It is multimodal and one of the most modern in this part of the world,[26] but its development is hindered by the lack of sufficient depth.[30] From it, there are reliable and regular shipping container lines to all major world ports.[29] The port has been rapidly growing and in 2011, more than 17 million tonnes (16,7 million long tons, 18,7 million short tons) of cargo passed through it.[29][31] It is the largest Northern Adriatic port in terms of container transport.[32] In 2011, almost 590,000 TEUs passed through it.[33] There is a skewed balance in the direction of trade flows in the Port of Koper where import flows clearly outweigh export flows.[12] The majority of maritime passenger traffic in Slovenia takes place in Koper,[34] where a passenger terminal was completed in 2005.[35] It has recorded about 100,000 passengers in 2011,[36] and has been visited by the largest passenger ships, such as the MS Voyager of the Seas.[37] The two smaller ports used for the international passenger transport are located in Izola and Piran. The Port of Piran is also used for the international transport of salt, whereas the Port of Izola is used for fish disembarkation. Passenger transport in Slovenia takes place mainly with Italy and Croatia.[38] The only shipping company of Slovenia is Splošna plovba.[39] It operates 28 ships with 1,025,000 tonnes of tonnage.[40] It transports freight and is active only in foreign ports.[34]


The air transport in Slovenia is quite low,[6] but has significantly grown since 1991.[41] There are three international airports in Slovenia. The Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport in the central part of the country is by far the busiest,[41] with connections to many major European destinations.[42] Around 1.4 million passengers and 15,000 to 17,000 tonnes of cargo pass through it each year.[43] The Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport is located in the eastern part of the country and the Portorož Airport in the western part.[41] The state-owned Adria Airways is the largest Slovenian airline.[41] Since 2003, several new carriers have entered the market, mainly low-cost airlines.[12] The only Slovenian military airport is the Cerklje ob Krki Air Base near the Slovenia–Croatia border in the southwestern part of the country.[44] There are also 12 public airports in Slovenia.[41]

Airports: 16 (2012)
Airstrips: 44 (2004)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 5 (2012)


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  2. 1 2 Plevnik, Aljaž. Polanec, Vesna (18 November 2011). "Vlaganja v prometno infrastrukturo: Komentar" [The Investments in the Transport Infrastructure: a Comment] (in Slovenian). Slovenian Environment Agency.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Executive Summary". Analysis of the infrastructure network in Slovenia and report on SWOT analysis (PDF). Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor. Port of Koper. April 2011.
  4. "Types of railway track". Slovenian Railways. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  5. "Slovenia Railway Company has subscribed to SCALAR system services". Milan Vidmar Electric Power Research Institute. 22 December 2008.
  6. 1 2 Plevnik, Aljaž. Polanec, Vesna (18 November 2011). "Obseg in sestava blagovnega prevoza in prometa: Komentar" [The Scale and the Structure of the Freight Transport and Traffic: a Comment]. Slovenian Environment Agency. |chapter= ignored (help)
  7. Plevnik, Aljaž. Polanec, Vesna (18 November 2011). "Obseg in sestava potniškega prevoza in prometa: Komentar" [The Scale and the Structure of the Passenger Transport and Traffic: a Comment]. Slovenian Environment Agency. |chapter= ignored (help)
  8. LUZ, d. d. (March 2010). Državni prostorski načrt za Ljubljansko železniško vozlišče [The National Space Plan for the Ljubljana Rail Hub: Draft] (PDF) (in Slovenian).
  9. 1 2 "Teden mobilnosti 2009" [Mobility Week 2009]. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. 15 September 2009.
  10. Bernard Vukadin, Barbara. Kušar, Urška. Burja, Alenka (25 October 2009). "Lastništvo avtomobilov v gospodinjstvih" [Car Ownership in Households] (in Slovenian). Environment Agency of Slovenia.
  11. "Zakon o cestah" [Roads Act] (in Slovenian). Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. 30 December 2010.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Situation per mode of transport". Study on Strategic Evaluation on Transport Investment Priorities under Structural and Cohesion funds for the Programming Period 2007-2013 (PDF). ECORYS Nederland BV. August 2006.
  13. 1 2 "Built motorways and expressways". Motorway Company in the Republic of Slovenia. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  14. 1 2 3 Oplotnik, Žan. Križanič, France (November 2004). "National motorway construction program (NMCP) in Slovenia (financing, impact on national economy and realisation)" (PDF). Highways: cost and regulation in Europe.
  15. Knez, Primož (29 October 2011). "Slovenski avtocestni križ zgrajen" [The Slovenian Motorway Cross Completed].
  16. Gabrijelčič, Peter (October 2010). "Narodnogospodarske koristi in razvojne možnosti prometnih sistemov v RS" [National Economic Benefits and the Possibilities of the Development of Transport Systems in the Republic of Slovenia] (PDF). 10th Slovenian Road and Transport Congress (in Slovenian and English).
  17. Kar polovica od šest tisoč kilometrov državnih cest je v slabem stanju [Quite a Half of Six Thousand Kilometers of the State Roads Are in a Bad Condition] (in Slovenian).
  18. "Brussels Stops Proceedings over Vignettes". STA. 29 January 2010.
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  21. "Zakon o Družbi za avtoceste v Republiki Sloveniji" [Motorway Company in the Republic of Slovenia Act] (in Slovenian). Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  22. "Zgodovina podjetja" [History of the Company] (in Slovenian). Integral Brežice. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  23. 1 2 Pelc, Stanko (2010). Izbrana poglavja iz prometne geografije: univerzitetni učbenik [Selected Chapters from the Geography of Transport: University Textbook] (PDF) (in Slovenian). Faculty of Logistics, University of Maribor. ISBN 9789616562362.
  24. "SAP – 30-letnik" [SAP: The 30–The Thirt-Year-Old]. Naša skupnost (in Slovenian). 16 (10). Skupščina občine Ljubljana Moste-Polje. 1975.
  25. Gabrovec, Matej; Bole, David (2009). Dnevna mobilnost v Sloveniji [Daily Mobility in Slovenia] (in Slovenian). Založba ZRC. ISBN 9789612541187.
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  27. "OBALNO-KRAŠKA - Economy". Portrait of the Regions. Eurostat. 2004.
  28. 1 2 Gosar, Anton (2008). "Sodobne pol1t1čno-geografske značilnosti alpsko-jadranskega prostora brez meja" [Contemporary Political Geography Of The Alpen-Adriatic Region Without Borders]. Acta Histriae (in Slovenian, English, and Italian). 16 (3).
  29. 1 2 3 Twrdy, Elen. Trupac, Igor. "Container Boom in the Port of Koper". European Conference on Shipping & Ports 2011: Proceedings. ISBN 9789609332958.
  30. "Luka Koper razkrila poslovne načrte za leto 2012" [The Port of Koper has Revealed its Business Plans for 2012]. Vzpon (in Slovenian). 12 January 2012.
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  32. "Koper Port Hits Record High in Container Traffic". Green Med Journal. 21 November 2011.
  33. "Konecranes to deliver three further RTGs to Luka Koper". Port Technology International. 23 January 2012.
  34. 1 2 "Transport" (PDF). Statistične informacije [Rapid Reports] (21): 11. 4 November 2011.
  35. "Potniški terminal in njegova vloga v slovenskem prostoru" [The Passenger Terminal and its Significance in the Slovenian Space]. (pdf). iCon. 19 December 2011. p. 17 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. "Ladijski pretovor v letu 2011" [Ship Transloading in 2011] (in Slovenian). Port of Koper. 17 January 2012.
  37. "One of World's Biggest Cruise Ships Sails into Koper Port". Slovenian Press Agency. 29 May 2005.
  38. "Resolucija o nacionalnem programu razvoja pomorstva Republike Slovenije" [Resolution on the National Programme for the Development of Maritime Transport in the. Republic of Slovenia] (PDF) (in Slovenian). Ministry of Transport, Republic of Slovenia. 3 November 2010.
  39. "Edini slovenski ladjar praznuje" [The Only Slovenian Shipowner Celebrates]. MMC RTV Slovenija. 22 October 2004. ISSN 1581-372X.
  40. ""Portorož" v kitajskem pristanišču" ["Portorose" in the Chinese Port]. (in Slovenian). 29 November 2011. ISSN 1854-6544.
  41. 1 2 3 4 5 "Transport" (PDF). Statistične informacije [Rapid Report] (26). 22 November 2010.
  42. Information Booklet (PDF). Aerodrom Ljubljana. 2011.
  43. "Traffic Figures". Aerodrom Ljubljana. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  44. Konda, Jože (2006). "Cerklje Airport on its way to future growth" (PDF). Slovenska vojska. XIV (8). p. 29. ISSN 1580-1993.

See also

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