RIGA - A total of approximately EUR 4.4 billion will be necessary for implementation of tasks defined in the Transport Development Guidelines in the next seven years, the Transport Ministry's Deputy State Secretary Ligita Austrupe said while presenting the Transport Development Guidelines for 2021-2027.
The amount includes both state and municipal budget funds, European Union support and private funding.
Austrupe pointed out that, according to the medium-term budget framework, the transport industry can count on EUR 390.8 million during the next three years. In addition, under Cohesion Policy, support for the transport industry in the next programming period (for the next seven years) is estimated at EUR 781 million. Furthermore, the Transport Ministry will count on funding from the Connecting Europe Facility, funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility and funding from the Just Transition Mechanism.
The goal of the European Green Deal is to reduce transport emissions 90 percent by 2050, said Austrupe. During the next seven years Latvia will focus on less polluting and more energy-efficient modes of transport, promoting the share of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as increasing the number of public transport users and micromobility users.
By 2030, Latvia is planning to achieve a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in transport, said Austrupe, adding that by 2023 a core network of electric charging stations in the TEN-T road network in Latvia will be developed. At the same time, the private sector is showing increasing interest in construction of electric and natural gas stations by developing the network with its own investments.
Transition from the use of fossil fuels to more environmentally-friendly modes of transport will take neither a year nor a decade, said Austrupe.
In addition, the development of public transport service and improving the availability of infrastructure is important for sustainable mobility, said Austrupe, explaining that the state must create preconditions for citizens, especially in cities, to switch from private automobiles to fast, convenient and accessible public transport.
The Transport Ministry sees railroads as the primary mode of public transport both in the Riga and in the regions. Investments in the development of railroad infrastructure and rolling stock of passenger trains over the next seven years is one of the Transport Ministry's priorities, said Austrupe.