POLIS calls for funding to renew bus fleet and passenger rolling stock

POLIS and five European transport associations are calling upon the European Commission to support rolling stock (bus and rail) renewal, through adequate European funding and financing programs in the 2021-2027 multi-annual financial framework programme.

Although the European Commission’s Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy supports the acceleration of public transport and rolling stock renewal, there is currently no long-term EU budget dedicated to support the sector’s transition. The latest Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) decision by the European Parliament, as well as the agreement reached between the Commission and Member states currently exclude support to public transport vehicles and rail rolling stock procurement from the CEF2 programme.

The selection of projects under the CEF1 blending facility showed the strong role of grants in the acceleration of clean vehicles deployment across Europe.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis strongly hindered the ability of both public transport authorities and private operators to invest in the decarbonization of the sector. This lack of investment will have important repercussions on the transport sector’s ability to meet EU Green Deal objectives, and will impact transport providers as well as European competitiveness in general.

This is why POLIS joins ALLRAIL, EMTA, LOHR, UITP, UNIFE, and issued a letter to call upon  the Commission to support the renewal of bus fleet and passenger rolling stock through dedicated European funding and financing programmes in the 2021-2027 multi-annual framework programme.

If the Recovery and Resilience Facility, within NextGenerationEU, will be a great support for rolling stock renewal across several Member States, it will not be sufficient to ensure a fleet renewal able to achieve EU climate targets. Long-term financial instruments are thus required to support transport providers in the acceleration of bus and rail investments across the full duration of the MFF period.

As European associations, we are not simply looking to replace older vehicles and rolling stock, but rather to achieve growth in the collective transport capacity. As local, regional and national transport authorities, organisations and industries, we are looking for a strong EU investment able to support the creation of an accessible transport system contributing to the improvement of European citizens' health and air quality.

With the following letter, POLIS and European transport association repeat their genuine interest and commitment to ensure a successful transition of clean fleets for the years to come, which will require the adequate European support and funding.

Full letter available in pdf