From Interreg to permanent service: bus connections at the German-Polish border


The 831A is a cross-border bus service connecting the municipalities of Bogatynia (Poland) and Zittau (Germany). The line is the first direct public transport connection between the two towns since World War II, when a railway linked the two sides of the border. The bus line contributes to local and regional accessibility in the border area along the route. The service is mainly used by tourists, with the arrival and departure times are synchronized with the trains in Zittau.

Currently, the bus line has twelve stops: one in Zittau, and the remaining eleven are in Poland, four of which are in Bogatynia.  The 831A bus service is an extension of the bus service 831, which follows the same route but is limited to the Polish side.



Zittau (Germany) and Bogatynia (Poland)



The bus line was established in the framework of Interreg Central Europe 2014-2020 within the project "Trans Borders", with a contribution from the European Regional Development Fund of 1.8 million EUR. The project investigated and planned a bus line from Zittau, via Bogatynia, to Frýdlant v Čechách (CZ) with a connection to the Polish health resort Świeradów-Zdrój on weekends.

The partners are the district of Görlitz (Germany) and the afore-mentioned municipality of Bogatynia. In addition, ZVON, a German transport association is responsible for the local transport plan which was used in the construction of the line. ZVON provided a consultant with German-Polish language and intercultural skills, who mediated between the contracting parties and drafted the contract text.

After the end of the project, a 2-year agreement was signed between the parties in June 2020 and the bus service started on August 1st, 2020. After this period, the pilot project will be evaluated and a decision about its continuation will be made.



The 831A bus service is a successful example of cross-border public service provision in an area where different national legal frameworks and economic differences (in terms of funding and pricing) exist. These obstacles were overcome by establishing the line as a 2-year pilot project, thus avoiding a permanent, long-term commitment. In addition, funding for the line is distributed according to the territories. The service is provided by a Polish company to reduce the costs, while from the German side there is a commitment to pay a lump sum to guarantee the service. Ticket integration is also a result of the initiative with the operators from both countries issuing cross-border tickets.

The line is undoubtedly attractive to tourists, as it enables rapid travel between the tourist region of the Polish Western Sudetenland and important centres in Germany (Dresden, Cottbus).


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