Public Transport Buses During the Night in Sofia from the Spring
Night lines of public transport will be launched in Sofia within a few months. Probably they will start April-May and will be tested for 3 months in the summer. The lines will be three and will connect different parts of the city. Soon, a new bus to Vitosha is expected to go to the city center. This is what the chairman of Sofia Metropolitan Council Elen Gerdjikov said in an interview with Mediapool. Night buses will run at 1 hour intervals. "Most major European cities offer such transport, I think Sofia can also afford it," Gerdjikov commented. In fact, in Sofia in the early 1990s there were night trams, and in 2009 there was a similar experiment for several months. Then, at night, a line 94 was connecting Student's City to the center. Three special lines were then launched, the routes of which crossed into the center. Because of the organizational problems and perhaps the profitability, the initiative died with the expiration of the experiment. For some time, the NGO "Spasi Sofia" has been insisting on buses at night and even has collected signatures for the idea.
Funding of night lines is set in the economic framework of public transport for 2018, which will be voted on by the city council on Thursday. It has a budget of over BGN 260 million. The transport operators will receive BGN 17 million more than in the previous year. "Special attention is paid to having more buses serving Vitosha," Gerdjikov commented. The problem of access to the mountain was on the agenda at the beginning of the year, alongside the government's decision to speed up construction of new ski facilities in the Pirin National Park. In addition, several times the mountain roads were blocked by cars, because people use their private cars because of the lifts that are rarely in operation and the irregular public transport. Recently, the special municipal commission on Vitosha's problems decided to launch another bus on the only line that reaches the high part of the mountain - 66, and instead of one hour, the vehicles will be in 30 minutes. Additional vehicles had to wait at stops if there were more passengers. City data shows that waiting buses have been used because of the influx of people and that the cars on the line will become even more and the interval between them will be smaller.
In addition, a bus route will be launched from the center of Sofia to Golden Bridges. This will be line 163, which will start from the National Palace of Culture. It will partly duplicate the route of the existing line 63, which runs from Tsar Boris III Blvd to the Golden Bridges, but only during weekends and holidays in the summer. The new route from the National Palace of Culture will be serviced all year round, but again only during weekends and holidays. According to Gerdjikov, the line may be operational in February. Most of the money for public transport will also be used to run more buses on a part of the lines to reduce traffic, explained Deputy Mayor Evgeni Krouschev in discussing the economic framework in the Municipal Transport Commission. No mileage increase is expected for trams and trolleys this year, and the explanation is that key roads will be repaired.
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