Ing. Adam Scheinherr, Ph.D., MSc .: Prague has the greatest chance of co-financing from the European Union for sustainable mobility projects
November 30, 2021, Milan Frydryšek
The development of logistics in Prague is not only related to the management of transport flows and transport chains, but is closely related to the introduction of low-emission or emission-free vehicles and also to the development of transport infrastructure. We asked the Deputy Mayor of Prague to comment on these areas. m of Prague for transport Ing. Adam Scheinherr, Ph.D., MSc.
The automotive industry, not only in the Czech Republic, is now affected by a lack of components, production is being reduced and, as a result, the modernization of the vehicle fleet is slowing down. Does this also have any impact on the trends and goals outlined in the study of urban logistics that Prague commissioned?
Although we have reports from logistics companies that, for example, deliveries of supplied electric light commercial vehicles are delayed, given the long-term process of greening freight transport in the city, several monthly outages of component deliveries in the automotive industry do not yet have significant effects. Many logistics companies, on the other hand, have a relatively young fleet and should not deteriorate in the event of short-term outages. On the contrary, the development of the production of truck electric bicycles by Czech companies can be mentioned as interesting. The Prague project of microdep city logistics, which is based on the delivery of shipments at the “last mile” precisely through freight wheels, thus initiates the development of this type of production. Now, of course, it is difficult to predict how the situation will develop, but we expect more expensive transport of goods and people, which goes hand in hand with more expensive fuels and lubricants, minerals, chemicals and the like. It is also evident that there is a more rapid start to the trend of package boxes, which help the city and carriers to better manage the situation. Here it is necessary to work on a system for sharing package boxes and design so as not to damage the public space.
Currently, energy is rising, including electricity. Can’t this factor slow down the trend towards electromobility?
First of all, it is necessary to increase the price, why the price increase occurs. Following the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the industry’s demand for energy is increasing. Another factor is insufficient natural gas reserves and, last but not least, the price of electricity reflects an increase in the prices of emission allowances. However, experts estimate that the current jump in energy costs is temporary.
In the short term, this situation may have implications for the development of electromobility; in the long term, we expect a shift towards higher energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy sources, as hydrocarbon fuels are also becoming more expensive. But it is, of course, a question of whether the emission standards of manufactured vehicles or fleets of vehicles at EU level leading to electromobility will not be revised.
In order to achieve the goals of the Green Agreement for Europe and decarbonisation, a preference for more environmentally friendly technologies and transport modes is envisaged. Do you have any idea how much money Prague could receive for this transformation in the coming years and to which areas the funds would be directed mainly?
In the field of transport, Prague has the greatest chance of co-financing by the European Union for so-called sustainable mobility projects. Specifically, it concerns in particular the purchase of new public transport vehicles and the construction of tram lines. Other areas with possible co-financing also include, for example, charging infrastructure for both means of public transport (battery trolleybuses and electric buses) and public infrastructure for recharging electric cars. The currently estimated amount for the capital from subsidy titles for mobility is CZK 15 to 19 billion. However, the above amounts may still change in the light of ongoing negotiations. Climate plan of the capital m of Prague also counts on co-financing by the European Union in other areas, such as sustainable energy and buildings or the circular economy.
Infrastructure capacity also has an impact on optimizing traffic flows and improving the environment. What opportunities for improvement until a city ring is built that would partially relieve transit through the city center?
The city circuit is a really large and complex project, the preparation of which, and above all the search for a possible financing model, will take several more years before construction can begin. Until then, it is necessary to address the capacity of the transport infrastructure primarily by modifying the existing infrastructure, such as intersections or certain intersection sections, as well as traffic ‑ organizational measures and telematics. For example, it is known that linear traffic management (variable traffic signage with speed control) or adaptive traffic management in areas via SSZ is able to increase capacity quite clearly. That is why, for example, on the German or Austrian motorway network you will encounter so many cameras or variable traffic signs. On the railway infrastructure, this concerns the topic of signaling equipment and traction characteristics of operated trains. However, unreliability is also a big problem, whether on the railways due to overcrowding, which can only be solved with the construction of new infrastructure, or on the road due to accidents or incorrect driving, which solves police supervision, adequate disability and various assistance and active safety systems. vehicles.
Rising prices also apply to building materials. Will there be enough resources in the future to build the infrastructure of the already mentioned Prague ring road? And what here
will the share of the city and the state, respectively the RSD?
Financing of transport infrastructure is a fundamental issue that is addressed at several levels, it is mainly a negotiation with the European Investment Bank, which lends us on favorable terms, such as metro D, but we are significantly limited by the so-called debt brake, which is significantly limited by local governments. than, for example, the state budget. Negotiations are also underway on various options for funding from the state, as is the case according to our surveys in large parts of the world’s capitals. For example, the remission of VAT on key infrastructure constructions was unfortunately not discussed at all by state institutions. From a professional point of view, it is also expected that transport revenues will increase, which are now very disproportionate to expenditure, but this is a completely political issue and a very unpopular path. It is quite certain that the city itself does not currently have the money for all transport projects, it can currently afford to finance only one large transport project with the help of loans. Therefore, we will most likely not do without the help of banks and the state, or other entities. However, it is a typical feature of our transport system that it consumes more direct funds than it generates, on the other hand there are positive (territorial development, passenger and freight transport,…) and negative (environmental and population impacts) externalities that difficult to appreciate.
Photo: Facebook by Adam Scheinherr