The shuttles have low emissions but their also very cute, Source: City of Sofia

Sofia’s new on-demand shuttles to ‘move’ more people away from cars

Sofia’s new on-demand shuttles to ‘move’ more people away from cars

On-demand services for last-leg journeys are getting more popular as European cities, rich and poor, race to decarbonise

Yesterday, local authorities in Sofia announced the launch of a new on-demand transport service for citizens in remote neighbourhoods. The service will use small low-emissions buses that are supposed to drive citizens during their so-called last-leg journeys – from large transit hubs to their residential areas.

These buses will be available in Manastirski Livadi East and West and Pavlovo neighbourhoods every workday from 6:07 to 22:40 with an interval of 16 to 18 minutes during peak times. After that, they will operate via an app, which residents can use to order the service in specifically designated areas.

Making public transport more attractive

The city has launched five small shuttles and six charging stations for electric vehicles which will service the neighborhoods and predetermined stops. Additionally, apart from traffic peak hours, citizens will be able to request a ride using a new app called BusInn.

This addition aims to make public transport more attractive overall by offering more connections to citizens further away from the beaten path – regions where large bus stops make little sense. Giving citizens, who are reluctant to move away from cars, more attractive options is a tried and true method of coaxing more people to switch to mass transit.

Innovation for cleaner air

Sofia has had a massive issue with air pollution over recent years in fact losing a court case to a citizen-led group in 2021. This prompted the city to announce a U-turn on air quality.

Many initiatives (including the on-demand shuttles) the city has planned for the coming years are linked to the INNOAIR project, funded through the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative. Other INNOAIR projects include a low-emissions zone.



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