The measure objectives are to reduce transport related air pollution in the city by increasing the use of alternative fuels and clean vehicles. Its implementation aimed at introducing clean fuel use strategy in Gorna Oyahovitsa by the retrofitting of 5 buses or 5 brand new buses for Gorna Oryahovitsa PUT.
In the city of Gorna Oryahovitsa there was clear and unsatisfied demand for CNG few years before CIVITAS Renaissance project started. This situation was rather inconvenient for the constantly growing number of CNG fuel users, who were asking the Municipality to look for possible ways for construction of methane fuelling station in the city. A local businessman declared to be interested in investing in such a project. The first problem to be solved was related to the lack of available terrain for the station. After a period of debates the Municipality sold to an interested investor a suitable piece of land. In June 2009 actual construction works of the CNG station have started. According to the plan the station had to be operational in September 2010.
As part of Impact Evaluation Process in June 2009 a representative household survey was carried out in Gorna Oryahovitsa. The city was divided into 32 zones established based on their location and transport infrastructure and services supply. In total over 850 members of 300 households were covered by the survey and 717 of them at age of over 14 year were interviewed.
Major step of RTD phase was the elaboration of Study on the institutional and financial conditions for conversion of PT busses and use of alternative fuel/s. Within the study a review of EU policy and best practices among CIVITAS and rest of European cities regarding the alternative fuels and clean vehicles was made. Different types of alternative fuels were presented and their technical and environmental indicators were compared. Based on the study results the stakeholders took a common decision five of Yantra Transport AD buses to be retrofitted to use CNG.
What is more New strategy for alternative fuel supply and elaboration of Plan for PUT operator clean vehicle fleet in Gorna Oryahovitsa was designed. In the plan the process of buses’ retrofitting was reviewed and described in details.
Next the work on the elaboration of Technical specifications as part of documentation for Public procurement tender for supplier of new engines started according to the initial schedule. Experts were hired and the document was elaborated and delivered on time.
Then Municipality started preparatory work for launching and carrying out public procurement tender for selection of the next PUT operator. Experts were hired for elaboration of documentation and new environmental requirements.
According the Law on local self-governance and local administration the elaborated draft public procurement tender documents shall be approved by the Municipal Council and the Council shall afterwards authorise the Mayor to launch the procurement procedure.
Based on political reasons and personal interests the Municipal Council rejected twice the proposal for launching tender procurement procedure.
An event called CIVITAS Day was organised in Gorna Oryahovitsa in June 2010. During the day different population target groups were informed about alternative fuels and clean vehicles. Main target groups were schoolchildren and their parents.
Next month despite the strong support on behalf of the City and residents’ interest the construction works of the CNG fuelling station were temporarily stopped. Global economic crisis had adverse impact on the CNG station investor financial plans to purchase technical equipment for the stations and in mid-2010 the investor ran out of money.
Based on this information the Municipality of Gorna Oryahovitsa initiated a meeting with Yantra Transport AD in its position of concerned project partner. Main topic for discussions was how to proceed with retrofitting process after it became clear that no CNG fuelling station will be operational in the city in the upcoming years until the end of the project.
In this situation Yantra Transport AD denied to retrofit the chosen five buses. The Municipality had no other option than to agree with Yantra Transport AD and to support the decision to cancel the retrofitting.
In the beginning of 2011 and after solving problematic legal issues the Municipal Council finally gave green light to public procurement for public transport services on the territory of Gorna Oryahovitsa municipality. Municipal Transport Department launched the tender in February.
Yantra Transport AD submitted the best offer and was awarded with the public service contract for the next 10 years. Since the beginning of June 2011 Yantra Transport AD started performing its obligations as PUT operator in Gorna Oryahovitsa. Company bought five new buses and runs these on the city PUT network together with ten of the old buses.
In September 2011 a meeting was initiated by Municipality of Gorna Oryahovitsa as coordinator and leading partner in Measure 1.4. The lack of CNG station in the city and related decision of Yantra Transport AD not to retrofit buses made impossible Measure objectives as stated in the original DoW to be achieved. This was the reason why the Municipality proposed and Yantra Transport AD agreed the implementation of Measure 1.4 to be stopped at the end of project month 36.
It was decided in the project only dissemination activities, to go on. Evaluation was restricted to process evaluation only.