On Friday, May 14 Zadar City Hall hosted the signing of a Grant Agreement for the project of purchasing new buses for Liburnija d.o.o. The purchase of 21 new vehicles with a price tag of €6.6 million will leave the carrier with the youngest fleet in Croatia.
State secretary at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Josip Bilaver and Edvin Šimunov, Director of Liburnija d.o.o. signed a Grant Agreement for the project of purchasing new buses for Liburnija d.o.o. on Friday, May 14 at the Zadar City Hall.
The project represents a follow-up to prior investments contributing to the quality of urban public transport services within the Second call for procurement of new buses for public transport in Republic of Croatia, considering the original procurement of 25 new buses has been completed following the delivery of the vehicles to Zadar in September 2019.
The project will ensure the purchase of 21 new vehicles – 6 urban low-floor buses (12m), 12 suburban high-floor buses (12m), 1 suburban high-floor bus with fold-out wheelchair ramp (12m) and 2 suburban high-floor buses (15m) – that meet the Euro VI vehicle emission standard, and will replace a segment of the obsolete bus fleet. The company Liburnija, along with the majority of public transport carriers in Croatia, is facing fleet obsolescence issues, i.e. the age and high mileage of some of the buses, which prompted the Ministry to initiate this important fleet renewal project, resulting in the purchase of more than 200 new buses in nine Croatian cities.
The goal of the project is raising and improving the quality of public transport, reducing unwelcome environmental impact, lowering operating costs and reinforcing the sustainability of transport.
The total value of the bus procurement project is €6.6 million. The total eligible costs rise just over €5.27 million, whereas the grant contribution from the EU Cohesion Fund amounts to €4.47 million.
“This important Agreement to procure new buses using EU funds from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion, worth 50 million kuna, is a gift to Zadar, the Zadar county and all of our residents. That is to say, 85 % of the project is funded using EU contributions and 15 % was secured in the State Budget. Along with the previously delivered 25 new buses, the second procurement of 21 new buses will leave Liburnija with the youngest fleet in Croatia. We will not stop at this contract, as we are readying further joint projects, such as the procurement of electric buses and the installation of electric charging stations”, state secretary Josip Bilaver pointed out.
Mayor Branko Dukić pointed out that this is a big step in order to develop and improve the overall traffic in the city.
“An environmentally friendly, better, faster and more efficient public transport will contribute to greater use of public transport by our citizens over the long haul, along with a reduction in the use of personal automobiles“, Dukić said.
Prefect Božidar Longin also happily welcomed the signing of the contract because, in addition to improving the quality of life, the purchase of new buses will reduce the harmful impact on the environment.
“As the prefect, I am happy with the procurement of 21 new buses and I believe that the quality of transport will be greatly improved, especially for those citizens facing mobility challenges when entering buses, because these buses are adapted to be accessible. Most importantly, we will reduce the harmful impact of pollution on the environment, and as we proudly point out that we want to be a green county, this is a step in the right direction,” Longin concluded.