The Chivalry Programme of the city of Ljubljana stems from the previous Kavalir Service, active in 2009, and aims to upgrade the assistance to citizens in the context of Covid-19 crisis.
To cope with the new urgent needs due to the pandemic, the project intends to be an improvement of a previously existing service and represents an innovative up-scaling of it.
It has been designed for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable groups, such as older people, poor families, people with disabilities and the homeless. The city has been facilitating this category with individual, free on-demand transport performed by small electric vehicles called ‘Kavalir’: in the context of Covid-19, the service was made available for many purposes.
During the cessation of public transport and lockdown, certain economic activities and services, many people were left without access to work, goods and services. The city’s response was provision of assistance to the vulnerable groups and organisation of aid in various forms.
The City of Ljubljana established a crisis headquarters under the leadership of the mayor and engaged with various stakeholders, organisations and individuals so they could reach as many people in need as possible in the shortest possible time. The initiatives undertaken ranged from delivering free hot meals and other necessities, providing free transport to and from work to nursing staff and whoever was in need of hospital/dispensaries services and free accommodation. The employees carrying out these services used electric vehicles from the city’s public company Ljubljana Passenger Transport (LPP).
The key success factor of the Chivalry Programme was using a gradual, step-by-step, inclusive approach to improve the basic activities. Starting with developing demand-responsive services, the city is increasingly adapting to citizens’ needs and with the pandemic, which is a new situation for everybody, finding solutions to help as many citizens as possible in the shortest time was the priority. This has been thanks to new approaches and a combination of different activities, stakeholders and teams to achieve a common goal.