Promotion of sustainable environment-friendly modes of transport, including the development of a bicycle network, as well as the purchase of public transport.
The current transport conditions in Stara Zagora, evaluated by different sources, through field surveys and other information sources, showcased the need for the modernization of transport. The current needs of the Stara Zagora urban environment (in terms of public transportation, as well as in terms of road network infrastructure) were identified and alternative scenarios that would contribute to the modernisation and development of a sustainable urban environment for the city, were proposed.
In 2013, the municipality published an (international) open call for tenders for the supply of 55 new high class diesel buses, seeking to address municipality’s transportation needs. The tender aimed to supply environmentally friendly means of in-city transport, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote environmental protection. In addition, this intervention also sought to improve the transport functions within the municipality via the improvement of mobility for the employed and the general population.
To encourage widespread participation in the tendering process, the tender was divided into two lots; namely LOT 1 for diesel articulated buses (5 units), and LOT 2 for diesel solo buses for mass public transportation (50 units). The option for bidding for one or both lots was also available. The framework agreement was awarded, following a best-value-for-money approach. The criteria used were in line with Directive 2004/17/EC.
The total amount of the EU funding was 14 million EUR
Evidence of success
The tendering procedure was successfully implemented. All bidders (9 in total) managed to fulfil the sustainability criteria prescribed in the call. The Polish company “Solaris Bus & Coach S.A.” was awarded the contract for the provision of environmentally-friendly buses; while the total value was €13.5 million. The application of Life-Cycle Costing (LCC) as a part of the award criteria on one hand, and setting requirements for maximum levels of CO2 released on the other.
No challenges have been encountered.
Potential for learning or transfer
Similar tendering practices have already been adopted in the largest Bulgarian cities (e.g. Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas), to facilitate the procurement of sustainable and environmentally-friendly vehicles. A key factor behind Stara Zagora’s success story was public authorities’ expertise in applying environmental criteria into tendering procedures, and the award of long term and high value contracts (i.e. 55 buses). The latter encouraged substantial participation in the tendering process, helping to attract the interest of automotive companies from across the EU area. To conclude, this intervention will essentially equip the transport network with up-to-date technical equipment and energy efficient solutions to ensure high quality transportation services and an improved living environment for citizens.
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