The changing mobility landscape in Central and Eastern Europe

17 December 2015  •  Author(s): Artur Perchel, Manager, Central Eastern Europe at UITP

The urban mobility revival in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries is hard to overlook. Fuelled by EU funds and evolving mobility patterns, the shift towards modern, low-carbon and customer-oriented collective transportation marches throughout the region. And although there is an array of challenges ahead, including dropping ridership levels or lower EU funds’ absorption rates, a number of key mobility trends should be recognised as critical for CEE’s success story. Artur Perchel, Manager, Central Eastern Europe at UITP, expands upon this point and its implications for the future of urban mobility in the region.

The changing mobility landscape in Central and Eastern Europe

No progress without EU funds

It is difficult to imagine the ongoing surge in urban mobility investments in the Central and Eastern Europe region without the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. The EU cohesion policy-related financing has been the main source of public transport investment since 2004 and will certainly continue to do so during the 2014-2020 EU programming period. EU-funded mobility projects will be traditionally devoted to metro, tram and agglomeration railway extensions, purchases of rolling stock and buses, traffic management and ITS optimisation, park and ride facilities, plus new bicycle infrastructure, to name just a few.

In Poland alone, the EU financial assistance between 2014 and 2020 has skyrocketed to €82.5 billion from €68 billion during 2007-2013. A record high €27.4 billion will be allocated under the Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme (OP) and financing road (€12.4 billion), rail (€5 billion)  and public transport (€2.3 billion) investments, all three under separate priority axes. Yet also other CEE countries are heavily investing in transport and urban mobility. In Slovakia, national and regional authorities plan to spend €4.6 billion of structural funds for TEN-T-related projects in rail, road and water-borne transport, but also to purchase 78 new trams and trolleybuses serving major urban areas. In the Czech Republic, the same amount of €4.7 billion will be pumped into sustainable transport networks and modes, including Prague’s metro extension, ITS technology deployment in the capital and the upgrade of existing road and 140km rail infrastructure. In Bulgaria, around €1.6 billion will be devoted to Sofia’s third metro line extension, traffic management systems and intermodal terminals all over the country. In Romania, the Large Infrastructure OP will attract up to €6.4 billion – more than 25% of the total EU funds’ volume available to Romania – on mobility-related projects like the Bucharest metro extension and the further development of TEN-T road and rail corridors. Around €2.3 billion of these funds will be solely allocated to urban mobility projects through the Regional OP. In Hungary, the European Commission has approved €3.4 billion under the Integrated Transport OP with projects ranging from railway electrifica tion to rolling stock purchases. Budapest itself will feature, among others, metro line 3 reconstruction, new and extended tram lines, intermodal hub at Kelenföld and new tram and trolleybus units…

The rest of this content is restricted to logged-in subscribers. Login or register (it's free!) to view the full content.

Leave a reply