After almost three years of research, data generation and analytics, programming, co-creation with citizens, testing, updating and new testing, on May 11, 2023, the innovative urban on-demand transport service for Bulgaria and the EU was officially presented to the public.
"In three metropolitan districts – "Manastirski livadi – East", "Manastirski livadi – West", "Pavlovo", the citizens of Sofia, with whom we have been working since the very beginning of the INNOAIR project, can benefit from a new type of public transport on request. The buses were purchased with European funds. The inclusion of transport "on demand" in the traditional public transport services of passengers is an important part of our overall policy for modernization of urban transport," said the Chairman of the Sofia Municipal Council Georgi Georgiev.
Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality and INNOAIR project manager, thanked the citizens of Manastirski Livadi for their active participation in the creation and testing of the service so that it best meets the needs of the residents of the neighborhood. Zafir Zdravkov, Sofia municipal councilor, emphasized that the new service not only creates new comfortable and accessible travel options for the citizens but also for the transport operators because dispatchers can electronically monitor buses, their occupancy, citizens' satisfaction.
"I would like to thank the Transport Directorate and the Sofia Development Association for including us. Involving citizens takes time, but it is the only way to do something innovative and effective, and to build trust between the municipality and the people," said Veselin Krastev from the Initiative Committee "Manastirski Livadi - West".
The new buses will run every weekday from 6:07 to 22:40. The service can be used with all passenger documents for public transport.
INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.