Urban mobility at a tipping point
Evgeni KRUSSEV Deputy Mayor of Sofia
Cities are for people, not cars
ities are drivers of change. As a deputy mayor for transport, I know that getting it right in our cities means working with people to positively and tangibly improve their quality of life. Urban transport accounts for around 40 percent of all CO2 emissions from road use and passenger cars make up by far the most amount of traffic on our roads. This has obvious effects on people’s physical, social and mental wellbeing through noise, pollution, accidents, lack of space and exercise. At EUROCITIES, the network of major European cities, where I lead the work on mobility issues, we support cities in developing sustainable transport measures and contribute to EU research and policy recommendations through our involvement in different city-led projects. Cities face the double challenge of improving mobility while making urban transport more sustainable. A sustainable urban mobility plan can stimulate behavioural shifts away from the use of private carsbut must consider the needs and input of local people, businesses and other stakeholders. Building liveable cities Public transport should function as the backbone of transport systems, in providing high capacity transport services at an affordable price. In Sofia, public transport is our top priority: line 3 of the metro is currently under construction www.governmentgazette.eu | 42
At the EU and national level, strategies for sustainable mobility should be developed together with city governments, given that cities are best placed to know which mobility measures are needed for their local circumstances.
with 12 new stations along the 12km line. We are currently upgrading our bus fleet with 20 electric buses and the forthcoming procurement of hybrid buses. We are renewing our tram fleet with 28 secondhand Swiss and 10 Czech trams. Thanks to the investment programme of Sofia Electric Transport for 2017-2020, we will also get 13 new low-floor trams. Six electric bus lines will
replace six conventional bus lines, with 30 electric buses. In addition, one new tram line and eight new trolley bus lines are foreseen to be constructed by 2025. Designing a mobility system around people offers the flexibility to switch between different modes of transport. It also means prioritising and creating the right environment for other active forms of
transport such as walking and cycling. Several cities, such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London, have invested in bicycle lane networks, and other cities, such as Brussels and Paris, are increasingly introducing pedestrianised areas. To increase the capacity of the existing transport network, cities can use ICT – so-called Intelligent Transport System (ITS) solutions – in combination