Joint letter: More support is needed for clean bus infrastructure

POLIS has joined UITP and European Metropolitan Transport Authorities (EMTA) to call for the European Commission to provide more support for clean bus infrastructure.

Transport accounts for a substantial proportion of urban emissions. As such, for achieving Europe’s emissions reduction targets, a transition towards clean fleets in local and regional passenger transport is crucial.

Bus transit is central to this transition. Through the deployment of clean buses, local and regional authorities support can fully comply with the Clean Vehicle Directive objectives. Indeed, as recent research from POLIS member, Ile-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) reveals, clean buses have an overwhelming impact on air pollution, with new, cleaner models shown to reduce annual emissions of NOx and CO2 substantially.

However, clean vehicles are a substantial investment, costing between 250.000 and 350.000 Euros more per vehicle than a EURO6 Diesel Bus, with additional expenditure required for batteries, charging infrastructure and depots into integrated projects.

POLIS, UITP and EMTA have warned that the financial instruments currently available are inadequate for supporting cities and regions in accelerating the required infrastructure and technologies. In a letter addressed to Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President, European Green Deal and Adina-Ioana Valean, Commissioner for Transport, the signatories highlight that the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF2) do not cover vehicles or vessel procurement- except for the case of inland waterways. Signatures assert that this presents critical problems for local and regional authorities’ ability to deliver clean transport infrastructure.

The letter comes as local authorities are grappling to coordinate and reorganise transport services following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While cities and regions are eager to continue to pursue existing sustainable mobility commitments, this requires long-term financial support.

Read the full letter here and in the documents section below.