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Sofia - EN

About Sofia

Partner in FLOW: Sofia Urban Mobility Center (SUMC)

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and the country's largest city. Sofia is the administrative, industrial, transport, cultural, congress and academic centre of the country. Sofia is a dynamic city which has seen a steady growth in population and the urban area in recent decades. Sofia's transport system is well-developed and it is a significant part of the national transport scheme. It is the only Bulgarian city with four modes of public transport such as buses, trams, trolleybuses and metro. Major investments for the construction of the metro, renovation of public transport vehicles and infrastructure have been made over the last years with the support of EU funds.

Since 1990, the number of private cars has significantly increased which is causing more and more congested roads. Therefore, Sofia Municipality and Sofia Urban Mobility Centre aim to decrease the share of private cars in favour of more energy efficient modes. One of the prime goals of Sofia Municipality is to create conflict-free cycling network with facilities to walk and better organization of transport management in Sofia, by expanding the use of intelligent transport systems.

Activities in FLOW

Sofia's sustainable mobility goals

In view of the city's existing transport and mobility challenges, one of the local authority's main goals is to improve the conditions for strategic and spatial planning for urban mobility by developing a long-term Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. The implementation of concrete measures in such a document would provide policy continuity in urban development, would contribute to improving the environmental conditions in the city, traffic safety, the implementation of alternative transport modes, improving urban logistics and introducing modern ICT technologies.

Currently the priorities in cycling development are:

  • Creating interconnected cycling network
  • Opportunities to combine walking and cycling  
  • Creating cycling routes in parks
  • Linking with public transport, particularly with metro stations
  • Building bicycle parking facilities

Impact assessment in FLOW

With the support of FLOW, Sofia Urban Mobility Centre developed and run a "bike/walk to-work campaign". The measure aimed to inform citizens about the available cycling and walking opportunities through a focused workplace-based campaign. Materials provided included maps of cycling/walking infrastructure and cycling/walking routes, a brochure with safety tips for urban cyclists and trainings on urban cycling.

Anticipated outcomes

Through participating in the FLOW project, Sofia gained a better understanding of the benefits of walking and cycling among citizens and learnt successful measures, tools and approaches to be applied in the future. The campaign assessment and its impact on congestion was used for development of further campaigns and measures.

Website addresses:

www.sofiatraffic.bg (Sofia Urban Mobility Centre)

www.sofia.bg (Sofia Municipality)

Quick facts

Population: 1,300,000 inhabitants

Land area: 1,311 km2

Road network length: 3,400 km

Cycle paths length:  40 km

Walking paths length: 2,440 km

Public transport (PT) modes: bus, tram, trolleybus, metro

PT system length: 1,591 km 

PT passenger trips per working day (all modes): 1,444,864

Cars passing through the city centre during working days: 122,560 vehicles

Modal split of Sofia (City of Sofia's Master Plan for Traffic Organisation, 2010)