European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius told journalists Thursday that remarkable achievements have been noted in Sofia’s public transport. “I understand that 85% of the public transport has been electrified,” he said, adding that it would be a huge success for this country to achieve full electrification. Sinkevičius visited the rectifier station Yunak in Sofia, which was renovated with European funds. He was accompanied by Bulgaria’s Environment and Water Minister Julian Popov. The tour also involved the Director General of the Environment Operational Programme Directorate General and Sofia Public Electrical Transport Company Executive Director Evgenii Ganchev.
Sinkevičius said that the transition to green transport would be more difficult for Sofia’s residents who drive their private cars. “Without adequate charging stations for electric cars, we cannot expect citizens to make the transition,” he added.
The rectifier station Yunak was modernized under the European Commission’s Operational Programme Environment 2014-2020, which is implemented with the support of the EU Cohesion Fund. The programme’s budget amounts to BGN 107.85 million, with over BGN 12 million of it earmarked for the reconstruction and modernization of the three rectifier stations in Sofia (Yunak, Veslets, and Slatina).
So far, 30 articulated low-floor trolley-buses and 34 electric buses have been delivered and are now part of the upgraded green transport system in Sofia, according to Operational Programme Environment Directorate General data.
As of September 2023, a total of 375 agreements had been signed under the Operational Programme Environment 2014-2020. The total contracted amount is EUR 1.858 billion. The funds disbursed to beneficiaries amount to more than EUR 1.187 billion.