Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds


Organisation: Economic Policy Institute Website: Added: September 13, 2022
Project start date: February 20, 2017
Project end date: March 31, 2022



The population of Sofia has been drastically growing over the years. According to statistical data, the inhabitants currently residing the capital of Bulgaria equal around 1,152,556. In its publication from April, 2021, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) reports that there are more cars in Sofia than the average for the EU’s largest cities. As EPHA outlines, “The CE-Delft report on the linkage between transport and the health costs of air pollution in European cities shows that Sofia is the most polluted city in Bulgaria with a record of € 2 084 damage cost per capita.” According to a research of Capital, the number of cars in Sofia has almost doubled in the last 10 years - from 717,270 in 2010 to 1,014,289 today. Stage II of Line 3 — the section “Zhitnitsa Str. — Ovcha Kupel — Ring Road” is part of the phased construction of the line laid down in the General Spatial Plan and the short-term program of Sofia Municipality for the development of transport as part of the backbone of the transport and communication system of the city. The project covers the western part of the line and starts at the end of the underground section after MS 14 (the end of Stage I of Line 3 sections Vladimir Vazov Blvd. — TGC — Zhitnitsa Str., which is implemented from 5 January 2016 with a grant under OPTTI 2014-2020), passes through the Ovcha Kupel residential area and reaches MS 18, which is located below the Ring Road between Central Street and the Sofia-Pernik railway line. The project includes 4 underground metro stations and a 3.8 km metro line. What has been been established under the project are a metro line with a total length of 3.8 km, 4 metro stations and a railway station, which are equipped with systems for operation by parts: electrical installations, low-current systems, transport automation, heat supply, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water supply and sewerage, track, repeaters, road and signal signs and contact network. With the new 4 stations, the metro is expected to initially carry about 25-30 000 more passengers, with the number growing to 45 000 passengers per day. The long-range forecast for the passenger flow in the two sections with 12 stations is a total of 105 thousand passengers, and for the whole metro almost 500 thousand daily, as the website of the beneficiary indicates.


The project has been started on 20th of February in 2017, and has been finally concluded on 31st of March in 2022. The new extention to the metro has been fully operaitonal since then.

Good practices and innovations

The new addition to the Sofia metro map creates conditions for a better integrated operation of metro, road, rail and air transport systems, which directly leads to an even more effective development of the priority of intermodality in passenger transport. The metro controbites to the connectivity in the capital of Bulgaria and is a step forward to a more sustainable environment in the capital. A positive future impact could be expected – it covers a district area, Ovcha Kupel, which is currently growing. It passes by a big Bulgarian University, which would therefore be an option for students to commute in a quicker way, preferring the usage of the metro, rather than the Bus. The metro connects directly the district with the center of the City (namely the metrostop “National Palace of Culture”) which adds up to the attractiveness of the metro as a transport option.

Financial data

Total project value was 238 405 525.63 BGN (68 225 302.30 EUR). The own funding is 104 968 432.27 BGN, whereas the total amount actually disbursed is 133 437 093.36 BGN. The EU co-financing rate is 85.00 %.


The project has been successfully implemented, however there is lack of information or tools on measuring the actual positive impact and benefit of this project. Therefore, it could be recommended that such future projects include some form of initial plan on assessment activities on the utilization of the specific metro line, and the impact that it has on the air pollution and climate overall. Further, it is not known where the passengers get off, there is a lack of information both about the transfers and about the load of the individual metro trains.

Information sources

Other info

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.