The Istrian Development Agency (IDA) developed VIA ISTRA smart card concept. Namely, it is a new digital tourist product with the help of which, in variants of 1, 3 or 7 days, Istrian County visitors, as well as the resident population, can use public transport more favorably and visit cultural and historical sites.
A web platform was created with an accompanying online store where users can purchase VIA ISTRA cards online, starting July 2022. Physical cards can be purchased as well, but the focus is on online sales.
When designing VIA ISTRA, IDA was guided by the idea of providing added value, content-wise, for all those who visit and love Istria, and considering the trends, the focus is on digital sales channels, a multilingual online store and two versions of the mobile application. One is intended for customers, while the other will be used by service providers involved in the initiative to control and cancel users' QR codes.
The introduction of the VIA ISTRA card encourages the use of public transport, as well as the mobility of passengers and the combination of more types of transport, i.e. multimodality, which should also contribute to the reduction of private car usage. There is also added value, considering that users in packages of one, three or seven days, have the opportunity to visit important cultural and historical locations at a more favourable price, along with public transport, following the example of various tourist regions and cities.
In the first phase, it is possible to buy the VIA ISTRA smart card online as a package for 1, 3 or 7 days (24, 72 or 168 hours). All three packages include an unlimited number of rides on Pulapromet buses, on all lines, and unlimited travel by HŽ train on the Pula - Buzet line, during the card validity period, which begins with the first use of the service on each individual card.
In addition to the use of transport services, users can visit numerous attractive sights in the package price. The daily card primarily covers the area of the City of Pula, while the three-day and weekly VIA ISTRA is extended to the wider Istrian area. For example, with a day card, visitors can also see the Pula Arena, the Temple of Augustus, the Zerostrasse underground tunnels, the Pula Kastel and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Istria, while with a three-day card, visitors can additionally see the Morosini Castle - Grimani in Svetvinčent, the Visitor Center in Barban, The Ethnographic Museum of Istria and the Museum of the City of Pazin and the National Museum in Labin. As for transportation services, the three-day card also includes the Pula Airport shuttle bus for the transfer of airport guests and the public bicycle system in Medulin, Fažana, Umag and Pazin. The weekly card covers an even wider area, so everything included in the three-day card is included, as well as additional sightseeing of the Batan Ecomuseum in Rovinj, the Walls and Gallery "5 Towers" in Motovun, and the Lapidarium Museum in Novigrad.
In addition to the above-mentioned basic packages, the VIA ISTRA card also provides numerous additional discounts, which is an opportunity for the economy development, given that there is an opportunity for expansion, upgrading and the inclusion of all interested economic entities in the upcoming period.
More details on VIA ISTRA website.