Un-jamming urban traffic in south-eastern European capitals

The EBRD'S technical visit to Taipei, China showed the public transport authorities of four capital cities - Belgrade, Zagreb, Sofia and Bucharest - how to improve their urban transport management system.

Like most capital cities, Belgrade in Serbia, Zagreb in Croatia, Sofia in Bulgaria and Bucharest in Romania, all lively economic, historical and cultural centers attracting millions of people every day, are increasingly affected by urban traffic problems.

Private vehicles crowd onto urban roads, resulting in frequent road congestion and car parking on sidewalks and public transport uses obsolete ticket systems, resulting in inaccurate statistics and ticket revenue not balancing the cost.

Backing loans with technical know-how

The EBRD has provided these four south-eastern capitals with more than €450 million in loans to help them tackle urban transport issues through traffic and parking management improvements, tram and trolleybus fleet modernisation and e-ticketing system upgrades. All these projects rely on telematic Intelligent Information Systems (ITS) and state of the art technologies.

In order to facilitate the preparation and implementation of these IT-based transport management concepts and technologies and to ensure the projects’ long-term impact, Taipei China has provided grant funding for a technical exchange visit between the cities’ public transport authorities and Taipei’s companies responsible for its first-class urban transport system.

Customised technical assistance

Three delegates from each of the four capitals had the opportunity to learn through hands-on experience how modern e-ticketing and charging systems are planned, installed, managed and maintained by Taipei and its companies and how the public sector plans for upgrades of transport systems over time. The relevance of the technical visit was ensured by a thorough assessment of the current public transport systems of each city, which allowed for the proposal of practicable solutions to improve their public transport operation efficiency and urban traffic management control systems.