The city educators will enjoy an annual free public transport ticket
Vilnius City Municipality adopted yesterday its 2021 budget which ups the previous fiscal plan by EUR 52,5 million, envisaging increased funding for education, health, environment and urban mobility.
Of a total of EUR 842, 5 million planned for this fiscal year (1 January – 31 December 2021), the municipal share will be EUR 467,9 million (a 3 percent increase on 2020), state budget grants will amount to EUR 234,5 million, and EU and other financial support funds will provide the remaining EUR 38,3 million.
Education top budget priority
Following discussions in the Council committees, the budget has been increased to include additional projects. One of them is presenting a free annual public transport ticket to all 19 000 employees of municipal-run educational institutions.
"With this pilot project, we hope to improve two areas that are very important for Vilnius - education and smooth and sustainable urban mobility. First of all, by compensating for public transport expenses, we aim to thank the employees of educational institutions for their extremely important work for the society and to motivate them additionally. We also aim at encouraging public transport use through real actions,” says Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, quoted by Vilnius.lt.
The educational sector accounts for EUR 416,7 million - almost half of the capital's total budget. In addition to financing the education system, it is planned to expand the renovation of schools and build new kindergartens.
Environment and urban mobility
The second-largest target area in terms of funding is the environment and urban mobility. With EUR 102,3 million, green spaces in Vilnius will be maintained and expanded, and new public spaces will emerge in Crafts, Vingrių and Giedraičių streets.
Deploying more convenient and sustainable solutions for urban movement will cost EUR 75 million, and for the first time, more funds have been allocated to cycle paths and pedestrian infrastructure than to car traffic. It is planned to expand bicycle paths along the Neris, start the installation of the Užvingis Island bridge for pedestrians and cyclists and the construction of a pedestrian tunnel under the railway in Iešmininkų Street. It is also planned to expand the network of electric vehicle charging stations and reconstruct busy intersections such as Kernavės Street and Nemenčinė Highway.
Focus on health and wellness
The budget’s growth is most evident in the field of health and wellness – it is 18 percent higher compared to the previous year and amounts to EUR 45, 1 million. This money is earmarked for the expansion and reconstruction of medical institutions, construction of sports grounds near schools, as well as developing programmes in support of mental health.
In the sphere of social security, EUR 78, 8 million will go towards increasing the availability of social housing and completing the construction of a hostel on A. Kojelavičiaus Street.
The municipality will continue supporting cultural institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic by organizing cultural support competitions, expanding and creating cultural institutions. To this end, the city budget has allocated EUR 13,3 million.
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