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Sofia’s Urban Environment – News in Brief


New Buses to Serve the Lines to Vitosha Mountain

Ten buses for the lines to Vitosha Mountain will be replaced by semi-touring buses “Mercedes” with eco-standard EURO5. The new vehicles are equipped with manual gearboxes because of the mountain terrain, as well as luggage carriers, which will allow for easier transportation of ski, sledge and other equipment. For the city lines, 60 new single-deck buses running on natural gas and 20 electric buses have already arrived, for which charging stations are currently being built.

Furthermore, Sofia Municipality expects 60 new MAN Lion’s City G articulated buses running on natural gas to be delivered at the start of 2019. They will be part of the fleet of city lines. Buses are low-floor, accessible for mothers with prams and people with mobility difficulties, equipped with air conditioners and with the highest eco-standard EURO6.

Thus, in 2019, it is expected that 90% of the buses in Sofia’s public transport will be new.


Development Plan for a Lift from Ring Mall and IKEA to Vitosha is Underway  

A detailed site development plan of the investment company of Ring Mall and IKEA and the properties south of them is in progress, to provide a corridor for the construction of a lift to Vitosha. Currently, there is no specific investment interest, but the possibility will be provided in the Master Plan of Sofia in the transport-communication part and more precisely for the development of the metropolitan.

The plan is part of the general plan for the future expansion of the Sofia metro towards IKEA and the zone from the way metro station – the one after Business Park Sofia westwards IKEA and Decathlon, to Vitosha. The general intention is that the residents and guests of Sofia will be able to reach the mountain by metro after the construction of the way station and another one after it.


Interactive Information Maps to Show Bicycle Network and Play Areas of Sofia Municipality

In early November, the team of OP Sofproect OGP presented the two newly created interactive maps – one with data on the available bicycle infrastructure and the other with the playgrounds in Sofia.

The bicycle lane map aims at evaluating the city’s bicycle network and building a methodology on how to improve it. It covers the bicycle network, bicycle parking stations, bicycle stands, as well as the extensions included in the Master plan of the city. The map also analyses potential bike routes in Studentski grad as well as their connection with the adjacent urban areas. The presentation of the work under the project can be found here, and the map – here.

The map and the strategy for the play areas in the city is a digital information system with data on all the playgrounds maintained by the regional administrations and the Green System Directorate. It also includes schools, kindergartens and nurseries with their adjacent areas. The map includes three area categories: newly built playgrounds (after 2000), playgrounds that need partial repair works and playgrounds that have to be totally renovated. When marked, each site displays additional data such as location, area, year of construction, available facilities, pedestrian accessibility, availability of fence, destination by age group, etc. For public and private kindergartens and nurseries, information on name, address and method of financing of the establishment, as well as a link with the register of the Ministry of Education and Science or the website of Sofia Municipality, is included. Information about sites such as sports playgrounds, private play areas, etc. is to be included as well. The map will serve as a basis for information when working on the Sofia Play strategy aiming to improve the play areas in the city.

The map can be found here, and the presentation and more information about the project – here.