Getting a city on the move
Over the last five years, the City of Bratislava has been investing in its public transport infrastructure, with support from the CEB. The results have helped to ease a number of infrastructure challenges in this booming city.
The economy of the Slovak Republic is one of the fastest growing in Europe, and its capital city, Bratislava, in the south west of the country, is the country’s wealthiest and most important economic area. The political, cultural, and economic centre, Bratislava is the seat of the Republic’s president, parliament, and executive. It is home to several universities plus other important cultural and educational institutions.
Bratislava accounts for a quarter of the Slovak Republic’s GDP, which is mostly generated by the tourism, trade and IT sectors, as well as banking and industry. This thriving city has over 660,000 inhabitants plus an additional 130,000 people commute into the city from the surrounding areas each day.
However, as Bratislava has boomed, the city’s ageing regional and city transport infrastructure has creaked under the pressure. The city and regional authorities, keen to promote more even social and economic growth in the city and its surrounding regions, and needing to meet EU environmental targets, began to plan a multi-sectoral programme of improvements.
Support from the CEB
In September 2014 the CEB signed a loan to the City of Bratislava worth €40 million to improve Bratislava’s transport networks and living conditions. The project also aimed to protect the urban environment.
The majority (70%) of the CEB loan was used to finance roads and public transport infrastructure, while the remaining 30% went towards environmental protection – namely the introduction of cleaner, new, energy efficient modes of transport.
CEB financing was used across a range of projects, including those outlined below.
Improving Bratislava’s transport networks and living conditions
Bratislava transport company
The vast majority of the CEB loan (72%) was used to co-finance the renewal of the city’s fleet of trolleybuses with 120 new vehicles plus 15 one-way and 30 two-way trams. It also co-financed the ‘Bratislava City Card’ project. The new vehicles provide a better quality, more reliable and comfortable public transport solution, with access for wheelchair users, air conditioning, modern information systems and CCTV. Two maintenance depots were also reconstructed and upgraded within this project so these new vehicles could be properly and safely maintained.
Supporting the urban public transport system
This project involved reconstructing the Starý most (‘Old Bridge’ in English) across the River Danube. The 460-metre-long bridge had been a vital connection between the centre of Bratislava and the Petržalka district, the most populous residential area of the city. However, it had been closed to all traffic since 2010. Once reconstructed, in December 2015, it was opened to pedestrians, bicycles and trams, making it a carless – and therefore – safer, quieter, cleaner and faster commuting option.
Now complete, this programme of work has helped to put Bratislava’s public transport system closer to other cities in the more developed economies of the EU.
As a participant in the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’ for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth put forward by the European Commission, this initiative is also helping Slovakia to contribute towards achieving the climate/energy target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.
“CEB funded projects are a part of a larger investment plan to improve public transportation in Bratislava. It is a must to make public transportation attractive to inhabitants and commuters if the city does not want to collapse and crumble under heavy traffic.”
Jan Matuska, CEB Country Manager
Improving Bratislava’s transport networks
value of the CEB loan