The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has been in charge of opening the first major call to distribute among city councils € 1 billion of European funds from the Recovery and Resilience Plan. An announcement that inaugurates four months in which the Government will have to step on the accelerator to implement everything it has committed to with Brussels in the framework of the Next Generation funds.

As the ministry has communicated, the objective of this first aid program is accelerate the decarbonization of cities, improve air quality and mitigate noise by promoting low-emission zones, the sustainable transformation of collective public transport and the digitization of mobility.

The call is addressed to municipalities of more than 50,000 inhabitants and the provincial capitals, including the possibility for municipalities with between 20,000 and 50,000 inhabitants that have public collective transport services to be eligible for aid for the digitization of these, the sustainable renewal of the fleet and the promotion of modal change in urban environments, prioritizing active mobility and collective public transport.

Municipalities have up to September 30th to apply for grants, for which a specific web platform has been set up in the Ministry’s electronic headquarters.

As indicated by the ministry, “the selected projects should contribute to articulate a reliable, accessible and affordable urban public transport system with more modern, efficient and sustainable fleets.” The actions must be completed on December 31, 2024.

For the selection of projects, the ministry led by Raquel Sánchez has announced that “The maturity, quality and impact of the projects presented by the municipalities will prevail, requiring in any case the provision of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) at the time of submitting your application “.

Four great lines

The actions implemented will be structured in four lines. The first of them will have as protagonists the low emission zones. This line includes, among others, investments in traffic light controls, sensors or resident license plate recognition programs, among other initiatives.

In the same way, measures aimed at the promotion of modal shift towards public transport and promotion of healthy mobility. Projects such as the pedestrianization of the streets or the creation of cycling infrastructure will enter here; that prioritize the circulation of collective transport modes and that promote transport systems on demand, intermodality with zero or low emission vehicles (carsharing, motosharing, scooters, bicycles), the improvement of efficiency in the urban distribution of goods (last mile) or in the provision of dissuasive parking, among others.

Thirdly, actions of transformation of public transport fleets. The objective in this field is “to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Clean Vehicles directive, through the purchase of electric or hydrogen-powered buses and the installation of recharging points, among others” as indicated by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

Finally, projects of digitization of public transport services. At this point, priority will be given to improving accessibility in the use of collective public transport and greater efficiency in traffic and transport management and demand management, as well as in the analysis of information.

Minimum of 200,000 euros

This tranche of aid is going to focus on initiatives of a significant size. Selected projects up to 90% of eligible costs will be eligible, establishing a minimum amount of subsidy to request at 200,000 euros for each action.

In the same way, in the case of the acquisition of buses or cleaning vehicles with one hundred percent electric or hydrogen propulsion, se will set a unit amount of subsidy according to the category of this.

In this way, the first major call for the new Next Generation funds course. A project that will involve the main municipalities of Spain and that opens a four-month period that will be marked by the rally of initiatives of this type to meet the objectives set by Brussels.

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