In the electromobility ranking prepared by the Clean Cities Campaign, which unites over 80 European civic organizations, Sofia is placed at the top of the list compared to other European cities due to its investment in ecological urban transport and Spark’s shared e-cars.
The capital scored well on certain indicators in the report and was even cited in The Guardian as a positive example. Its success is mainly due to the European funds invested in the purchase of new electric buses, in which the city has recently invested.
The overall evaluation of the Danish capital, for example, is 86.5%, and the overall evaluation of Sofia – 35.8%. But there is certainly more potential waiting to be developed.
“Our good performance is mainly due to the large number of trolleybuses and the trolleybus network, which in terms of concept and coverage is a legacy from the time of socialism. Based on these indicators, it seems that we are doing well, but public transport in Sofia is far from clean. We are moving in the right direction, and we must definitely accelerate the pace of replacing vehicles with electric ones, but also with serious work dedicated to attracting people to use mass public transport”, commented for “Capital” Dragomira Raeva, “Clean Mobility” coordinator in the ecological association “Za Zemiata (For the Earth)”. It is part of the Clean Cities network and has been involved at various stages in the preparation of the report.
The electric buses that shot Sofia up in the ranking
The city ranks among the top five in terms of eco-transport. Here we are helped both by the bequeathed by socialism and preserved trolleybus network, and by BGN 200 million from the European Union, which was used for the purchase of electric buses and trams. Thus, the funds used under the “Environment” programs brought the capital to the top of the Clean Cities ranking.
The money was invested in 30, 6-7-meter and 22, 9-meter electric buses with a total value of BGN 30.3 million, 30 fast-charging electric buses of the Chariot Motors Company, 30 trolleybuses and 25 trams. Most of the orders of the various municipal companies have been delayed and now, for example, the small 52 electric buses for bringing transport to the neighborhoods have started to arrive.
Ideas for transportation
The “Sofia Team” has analysed the features of the transport network in Sofia and offer the following solutions:
- Introduction of electric buses with fast charging from a catenary network at the final stops, which would reduce the need for new charging stations for electric buses.
- Construction of a new trolleybus catenary network in key sections to replace diesel buses with traction battery trolleybuses.
- Modernization of the overhead catenary network to increase the average speed and reliability of trolleybus transport.