NiOL for special purposes

Marta Kufel

Marta Kufel

NiOL for special purposes

The last five years mark a period of immense changes in respect of paid parking spaces, city bike rental and real property management. Here are some of the most important projects implemented by Nieruchomości i Opłaty Lokalne Company [Real Properties & Local Fees].

Improved turnover at the PPZ

In March 2021, the Paid Parking Zone was expanded by 58 new streets (or street sections).  The price list was also amended. The option to pay subscription or fixed-rate fees for individuals and business entities from outside Szczecin was excluded. This resulted in the increased share of short-term fees, and thus the turnover of cars was also enhanced. Previously, vehicles with long-term fees occupied a half of the zone. 

In March 2021, the company began replacing parking meters at the PPZ. The new parking meters allow the payment of standard (hourly) fees, the collection of free-parking receipts, and the purchase of subscription for a specified number of says.

The new price list also includes free parking for initial 15 minutes. 

According to the results of a PPZ study conducted in 2022, the annual number of PPZ-related transactions amounted to over 4 million (monthly average of around 350,000).

“Time-limit tickets, so called standard tickets, account for the greatest share of the transactions,” explained Wojciech Jachim, spokesman, NiOL. “They constitute 83% of all services sold as part of the PPZ in Szczecin.  The remaining 15% are free tickets, while long-term tickets account for only 2% of all transactions.
 

The PPZ reform was preceded by measures aimed at improving the quality of services provided by NiOL to Szczecin residents. 

In February 2021, a new PPZ e-store was launched on www.e-sklep.spp.szczecin.pl , where all types of subscriptions can be purchased.  

On 1 March 2021, a NiOL helpline was launched at 91 50 65 200 for:

•    drivers using paid parking spaces (PPZ, and paid unguarded car parks)
•    users of BikeS city bike rental system
•   tenants of real properties managed by NiOL

The helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

In March 2021, the company also began replacing parking meters at the PPZ. The new parking meters allow the payment of standard (hourly) fees, the collection of free-parking receipts and the purchase of  subscription for a specified number of days. Linking fees with vehicle registration numbers is an additional advantage. Thanks to the function, drivers do not need to return to their cars to place the tickets.

At the same time, a new website, spp.szczecin.pl, was launched with a view to providing clear information about the operation rules of all paid unguarded car parks managed by NiOL.
Another novelty at the PPZ was the occurrence of e-inspection vehicles on the streets of Szczecin. The first Volkswagen up! equipped with registration plate scanning cameras began its work in autumn 2022. The other one was placed in service a year later. 
 
The City Scanner system mounted on the roof of an e-inspection vehicle automatically verifies whether a parking fee has been paid for the cars being passed by. City Scanner checks over 2,000 vehicles a day, and is able to fulfil the tasks of several controllers performing their work on foot.
In April 2023, NiOL launched a notice website, https://zawiadomienia.spp.szczecin.pl, allowing visitors to read relevant documents, including photographs, confirming their failure to pay a fee for parking in the PPZ. The website is addressed to drivers/vehicle owners who were subject to e-inspection and received a notice of unpaid parking fee by post.

Starting from January 2024, PPZ customers will receive a reminder text message three days before their parking subscription expires:  This is to remind you that on %date% your subscription for vehicle No. %registration number% expires.

“The overall objective of the changes we have been implementing since 2019 in the parking system in the centre of Szczecin is to limit passenger car traffic and promote public transport,” said Wojciech Jachim, Spokesman, NiOL. “This is also the purpose of municipal Paid Unguarded Car Parks (PUCP). As they are located outside public roads, the city authorities decided to put in place other parking rules, other prices, and Regulations than in the PPZ.


There are currently six Paid Unguarded Car Parks in Szczecin:

•    PPN (PUCP) Trasa Zamkowa
•    PPN Czarnieckiego
•    PPN Ogińskiego
•    PPN Szymanowskiego
•    PPN Orła Białego
•    PPN Dolny Taras. 

PUCPs are managed by NiOL on behalf of the City Office. 

A new improved BikeS

Fourth generation BikeS system was launched on 1 March 2022. The new BikeS includes 800 bikes equipped with GPS and autonomous locks. It operates all year round, not only between March and November. The former docking stations were replaced by standard bike stands with “Parking Zone” signs. Their number increased from 87 to 100. New BikeS bicycles have seven gears (and the previous ones had three). It is equipped with an autonomous lock on the rear wheel, so bike stations with locks are not necessary. All you need is a bike stand. You can use the Roovee app to locate, book and rent out the nearest bike, both within and outside a parking area.

The users were enthusiastic about the new bikes, and they expressed their views on FB:

•    Nice, everything works perfectly. The Roovee app works amazing just like for scooters.
•    The ride is very good.
•    The ride is smooth with 7-speed gearing, the rotating ring bell works fine, and the brakes work like a charm.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of BikeS. It has recorded 3.5 million rides. It is currently used by 26 000 people.

It is worth recalling here that the Municipal Bike Rental Service (MBR) has also been operating since 2021. It is a supplementary offering to 4th generation BikeS. The customers may choose from eighty-five 3rd generation BikeS bicycles equipped with combination bike locks.

“Customers may rent out bikes at the MBR not for hours, but for days, for example, for the weekend or for longer periods,” explained Wojciech Jachim, Spokesman, NiOL. “MBR bikes can be encountered around Szczecin, but they were also in Germany, in Poznań, and in the summer holiday season, they are rented to travel to seaside resorts. 

Service portfolio: municipal rental of ... real properties

Real property management is the third area of NiOL's activities. The company leases and manages several dozen real properties in Szczecin. The Old Town (Stare Miasto) area has been under its custody since 2021. NiOL is responsible for maintaining cleanliness, greenery maintenance, traffic arrangement, and order on paid car parks.

In the Old Town, NiOL supports community initiatives related to the planting of flowers  and decorative plants. The photo shows volunteers and members of Stare Miasto Housing Estate Council planting flowers in Orła Białego Sq., June 2022.

The company has recently renovated the façades of two representative villas in Wojska Polskiego Ave. Both buildings currently house outpatient clinics. A nearly 200-hundred-year old building at 101 Wojska Polskiego Ave. has regained its original beige colour. The scope of renovation included, i.a., waterproofing of external walls, thermal upgrade of ceiling over the attic, replacement of roof covering, windows, doors, and the renovation of stuccowork and architectural details.

Also, the historic villa at 72 Wojska Polskiego Ave. looks just like in its prime. The façade is light beige, and the intricate low relief has regained its former glory. The entire brass roof covering was replaced with a new one. The main objective of the work was to perform the thermal upgrade of the buildings and recreate their historic image.

NiOL allocated over 3.5 million zloty for the renovation of both buildings.

The appearance of the BikeS storage facility at Piotra Skargi St. was also changed. The building that is used by NiOL dates back to late 19th century. It is entered in the Heritage Register of the Westpomeranian Region. In the past, it housed a horse-drawn tram depot and an electric tram depot. Now it is a storage for BikeS bicycles. In June 2023, NiOL announced a competition for a mural to decorate the gate of the facility.

“The winner was Olgierd Szopiński from Chojnice, student at the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts,” said Wojciech Jachim, Spokesman, NiOL. “This colourful mural created by Olgierd and his team constitutes an artistic illustration of three chapters of over 100 years of the building’s history.”

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