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Date: May 31, 2023
Francisco Quatrin
By Francisco Quatrin
Spain
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66 electric buses, micromobility, and ZBE: AMB secures €82 million in European funding

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) will benefit from the plan launched by MITMA with European funds. This will encompass 53 actions in the municipalities of the metropolis.
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The Ministry of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda (MITMA) defined in April that it will finance 432 initiatives under the European-funded grants, including the municipalities in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB).

All of these initiatives are aimed at the purchase of electric buses, the deployment of bike lanes, pedestrianization of streets, digitalization of mobility services, or the implementation of low-emission zones, among other projects.

Provisionally, these 432 projects were selected from the 679 applications submitted by a total of 188 potential program beneficiaries.

Among them were municipalities with over 50,000 inhabitants, provincial capitals, and city councils of towns with over 20,000 inhabitants.

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) was awarded 53 initiatives out of the 69 requested.

This represents a grant of approximately 68.2 million euros. Additionally, it is very likely that more than 8 million euros will be added for the projects in Badalona, which are at the top of the waiting list.

In relation to other cities in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), it is worth noting that both in absolute terms and in relative ratios, the Barcelona metropolis once again leads in its share of European funding for sustainable mobility projects.

The majority of metropolitan municipalities with over 20,000 inhabitants submitted applications, nearly exhausting their potential funding allocations. The administration provided support and assistance throughout the application process.

Collectively, the main projects within the AMB encompass the following areas:

  • Implementation of Low Emission Zones
  • Cycling infrastructure
  • Transformation of public transportation
  • Improvement of transportation accessibility

It is worth highlighting the cases of Barcelona, Badalona, El Prat de Llobregat, Sant Adrià de Besòs, and Hospitalet de Llobregat, which included the acquisition of buses for Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB) in their applications.

Unlike the first call, the AMB was not included in this second round. However, the AMB collaborated with metropolitan municipalities to submit projects that could be eligible for this second call through municipal applications.

Specific projects within the AMB

The technical support provided by the AMB’s technical services was crucial in encouraging municipalities to apply for the call.

Notable projects include electric and hydrogen buses, Low Emission Zones (ZBE), and the Bicivia cycling network.

These 68 million euros from the Next Generation EU funds will finance strategic initiatives for the Barcelona metropolis, all aligned with the four lines outlined in the State Plan:

  • Acquiring at least 66 new electric or hydrogen buses for the direct management fleet of the Metropolitan Bus Service (TMB), to further transform public transportation towards a zero-emission model.
  • Accelerating the implementation of local Low Emission Zones: through this funding, the AMB and municipalities aim to deploy new ZBEs in various metropolitan municipalities.
  • 9.4 million euros to complete the Bicivia, the cycling network in the Barcelona metropolis, and adjacent bike lanes.
  • 33 million euros for urbanization and accessibility projects at metropolitan bus stops.
  • Funding for 6 new high-capacity bicycle and scooter stations managed by the Bicibox service: in Viladecans (1), Hospitalet de Llobregat (3), and El Prat de Llobregat (2).

These initiatives will provide a minimum effective subsidy of 22.6 million euros for metropolitan transportation (bus and metro) within the AMB, along with an injection of 3.1 million euros for AMB’s own projects.

Overall, in this second call, projects with eligible funding exceeding 82 million euros were submitted, with half of them belonging to the AMB. The potential subsidy available to all municipalities was 90 million euros, thus surpassing 90% of the maximum eligible amount.

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