Transport soon to become more modern and comfortable in Szeged
In 2017, Szeged was granted funds from the European Commission’s EUR-50-million city development programme budget. The project participants signed the partnership agreement on Thursday.
Szeged applied for EU granting with its “SASMob” project, in the city mobility programme category, which is designed to reduce traffic jams, air pollution and noise exposure through the deployment of a data-driven, intelligent transportation system by governmental and private organisations and transport service providers.
Applications for funding, made available by the European Regional Development Fund, had to be submitted by the middle of April last year, in one of three categories. The details of the agreement on the implementation of the “SASMob Project” were finalised and the document was signed by the participating organisations and institutions after several days of discussions.
Before the final signature on Thursday, the Vice Mayor for City Development, speaking on behalf of the Municipal Government, emphasised that there was only one Hungarian city among the programme beneficiaries – the city of Szeged. According to Sándor Nagy, this is partly owing to the fact that Szeged had already made major achievements in the area of transportation, which strongly determines city dwellers’ quality of life: public transport had been modernised, trams and trolleybuses had been converted to offer a higher level of comfort, buses now cause less air pollution and new bike tracks and shelters had been built, which was a significant motivation for many to choose cycling instead of driving to get to work.
In the recently signed agreement, project partners made a commitment to offer the most possible help to make the city’s public transport smooth in functioning and comfortable and to create conditions which will make the life of bike users easier. In practice, the above commitments mean the better coordination of timetables and connections, the modernisation of bus stops and stations, the development of bicycle tracks and the building of bike shelters.
Besides, an item of software will also be developed, which will support the optimisation of transport. In recent decades, Szeged has seen a radical increase in the number of passenger cars, while the time people spend in cars has hardly increased at all – which indicates that the city has already achieved a lot in the coordination of different means of transport.
The available project budget nearly reaches HUF 1 billion, and the measures designed to improve city transport mobility must be taken in accordance with the agreement. This is a precondition of the implementation of sustainable city transport, which is one of the key project objectives.
Besides Vice Mayor for City Development Sándor Nagy, the document was signed by the representatives of Dél-alföldi Közlekedési Központ Zrt. (Southern Plain Transport Centre Inc.), Szegedi Közlekedési Kft. (Szeged Transport Ltd.), Szeged Pólus Nonprofit Kft. (Szeged Pólus Non-profit Ltd.), Szegedi Környezetgazdálkodási Nonprofit Kft. (Szeged Environmental Management Non-profit Ltd.), Pick Szeged Zrt. (Pick Szeged Inc.) and Szeged University.
In addition to providing professional assistance for the project, these organisations have also committed themselves to make their employees’ travel to work better by jointly establishing higher quality conditions of transport.