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23 April 2014

Gdynia trolleybus scheme scoops prestigious eco-award (Poland)

Source: Solaris

A new eco-friendly urban transport system won a top prize last week at RegioStars 2014, a European Commission competition recognising Europe's most innovative regional projects.

The project in northern Poland, which triumphed in the ‘City Star - Investment projects in sustainable urban public transport’ category, introduced innovative and accessible electric trolleybuses to the city of Gdynia. This has resulted in less traffic congestion, fewer accidents and lower levels of pollution in the city. It has also brought benefits to the local economy of the wider Tricity area of Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot.

“We purchased 28 modern low-floor environmentally friendly trolleybuses, rebuilt (areas of the) traction rail network and built a remote control centre substation,” said Piotr Małolepszy, CEO of the Trolley Car Transport Company in Gdynia (PTK Gdynia). “The new vehicles are energy efficient. After their introduction, the total electricity consumption of our network decreased by more than 20 per cent. More importantly, the comfort of passengers greatly improved.”

The winners - who were chosen from 19 shortlisted projects co-financed by investments from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund - were presented with the awards by the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn at ceremony in Brussels (Belgium) last week.

For more information, click here (in Polish) or to read the European Commission’s press release (in English), click here.

To read a case study (in English) of the Gdynia trolleybus scheme from the Eltis urban mobility portal, click here.

11 April 2014

Trams and trains powered by green energy in Rhine-Neckar Region (Germany)

hansvogel51, Flickr

Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv), the public transport company for the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, is now exclusively using electricity generated from renewables in its electric trains and trams.

Electric tram stop signage, train stations, and administration buildings will also be powered by green energy. The company made the switch on 1 March 2014, and expects to reduce its annual emissions by over 20 000 tonnes.

Hydroelectric power will be one of the main sources of electricity, with suppliers MVV Energie, Stadtwerke Heidelberg and Technische Werke Ludwigshafen guaranteeing that their energy comes from renewable sources. Martin in der Beek, rnv's Technical Director, said "One of the stated goals of rnv's business strategy is to increase the environmental advantage of buses and trains."

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan region comprises a population of 2.4 million people and is split between the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, and Rheinland-Pfalz. It includes the cities of Heidelberg, Ludwigshafen and Mannheim.

For more information, click here (in German).

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